In Practice

Evaluating 5 years’ NIMART mentoring in South Africa’s HIV treatment programme: Successes, challenges and future needs

M Jones, D Cameron


Task shifting has enabled South Africa (SA) to rapidly expand its HIV treatment programme. This has been achieved by training and mentoring primary-care nurses in nurse initiation and management of antiretroviral therapy (NIMART). Five years into its clinical mentoring programme, the Foundation for Professional Development conducted an evaluation that identified improved knowledge, attitudes and confidence perceived by nurses who received NIMART mentoring. Low completion rates for the Department of Health (DoH) NIMART training process were identified and therefore targeted mentoring was introduced; this increased the percentage of primary nurses eligible for DoH certificates of clinical competence in NIMART from 12%, adding a further 30%. There remain a large number of primary nurses who require mentoring in order to complete the NIMART process. For those who have completed the process, there remains a need for ongoing mentoring as SA’s HIV programme evolves, complex cases emerge and primary care undergoes change.

Authors' affiliations

M Jones, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, UK; Evaluation Unit, Foundation for Professional Development, Pretoria, South Africa

D Cameron, Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Evaluation Unit, Foundation for Professional Development, Pretoria, South Africa

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HIV; HIV/AIDS; South Africa; Task shifting; NIMART; Mentoring; Evaluation

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2017;107(10):839-842. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2017.v107i10.12392

Article History

Date submitted: 2017-09-22
Date published: 2017-09-22

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