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CASA Project

CASA Project
Coordinating Organisation Tigray Health Bureau, Mekelle University, Ethiopia
Italian National Institute of Health, Italy
Organisers/Type of Organisation Government, University
Initiative Type CASA is an operational research and training project financed by the Italian Ministry of Health (2014-2015) and Italian Development Cooperation (2015-2016) to improve the quality of care of HIV/AIDS patients in the Tigray Region (Ethiopia). Research is mainly focused on the improvement of retention in care of HIV patients (Bucciardini et al, PLoS One 2015:e0136117) and is closely associated with training in communication and health information literacy.
Field of Science Involved HIV/AIDS
Target Audience(s) Medical staff and nurses, community health workers, patients associations
Reach Ethiopia/Tigray Region

Main Objectives

Developing communication skills and basic knowledge on clinical aspects of HIV to contribute improving retention of HIV patients and show the value of a multidisciplinary approach.

Description of work

A training program in communication and health information literacy was designed and carried on to improve the quality of care of HIV patients in Ethiopia according to the CASA project holistic approach. 

A multidisciplinary team including scientists, librarians, and experts in communication and IT was involved in all phases of the process leading to the definition of the training strategy which was developed according to the following steps:

Training is basically addressed to

A) Patients associations (tools: Toolkit 1 and 2, in Tigryna, + workshops and local support)

B) Nurses (tools: Toolkit 1, 2, 3, 4 in English, videos of the lessons reading of selected scientific articles on HIV + workshops).

You can download toolkits from

The duration of the initial courses is 2 months for patients associations and 6 months for nurses. From April to November 2016)

There was pre and post evaluation questionnaires for each group and oral examination to get a certificate of accomplishment.

Local support to training activities involved 4 data managers (paid by the project), case managers in 7 health facilities/hospitals in the Tigray Region,  and one Italian person staying in Mekelle during the training implementation period. The ISS staff provides continuous support and organizes onsite workshops.

We planned to implement the train-the-trainer approach. This approach is explained to participants in workshops and is included in Booklet 1. Only those who demonstrate managerial abilities and have acquired good level of knowledge can become future trainers. 

We are concerned about the support of training replication activity which will contribute to guarantee the sustainability of the project. 

An implementation plan of training replication activity is under discussion with  local authorities and patients associations taking part in the training program. In fact, all decisions are taken in agreement with local partners. 

CASA- health facilities currently involved in training activity are:

You can find more info on the project website

In particular, you can see the videos of workshops. The workshops involved local people (data managers and case managers) who were trained to present their own activities;


49 community health workers participated in training activities, 42 of them  completed the course, 29 passed the written examination, 14 were admitted to oral examination, 14 passed the oral examination-

73  health workers participated in training activities, 50 of them  completed the course, 48 passed the written examination, 45 were admitted to oral examination, 20 passed the oral examination-

Resources used or generated

4 training toolkits in English, 2 of them were also translated in Tigrinya from

Contact Details
Principal Contact Paola De Castro
Address Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Vuale Regina Elena, 299 – 00161 Rome, Italy
e-mail Raffaella.Bucciardini

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