Staff experiences inform African Health Project

We visited Glasgow Caledonian University on Friday for the launch of new research looking at the experiences of staff in our African Health Project.

The research, conducted as part of an MSc in Public Health at the university, explores the service provided by the African Health Project in Glasgow. Interviews with staff have been used to identify the project’s strengths and the challenges it faces.

Our African Health Project works with African communities to improve health. An important part of our work is raising awareness of HIV and reducing transmission of the virus by providing information, offering testing and providing support to those affected.

One of the key strengths to come out of the report is the so called ‘Africanisation of staff’ – a term used in the interviews to describe the diversity of African staff working for Waverley Care and the value placed on this by the communities we work with. This has allowed us to build strong community ties with African community organisations, particularly through faith leaders, to start conversations and challenge stigma about HIV and sexual health.

Through staff interviews, the research also identifies issues which are becoming increasingly important in the work of the African Health Project. For example, an increasing number of our service users are asylum seekers and refugees. Our work is having to adapt to help them address priorities like access to secure accommodation so that they can then focus on their health and wellbeing.

The report will help us to monitor the work of the African Health Project to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of African communities in Glasgow and we are grateful to the team at Glasgow Caledonian University’s School of Health and Life Sciences for their support.