Access to voluntary counselling and HIV testing services by Tonga Hospital employees

Mkhulisi, Dennis Joseph (2010-03)

Assignment presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy (HIV/AIDS Management) at Stellenbosch University

Thesis (MPhil (Industrial Psychology. Africa Centre for HIV/AIDS Management))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The advent of HIV/AIDS poses a gigantic challenge to mankind. This global pandemic calls on all of us-regardless of whether we operate within government circles or in the private sector-to cooperate in eradicating the scourge of HIV/AIDS. The global impact of HIV/AIDS has wreaked grave havoc on family structures, the Health and Education sectors as well as various crucial productive industries, namely, the agricultural, mining, retail and financial services sectors. The South African national Department of Health is charged with leading the provision of access to HIV VCT services for all deserving members of the South African community. It behoves of all of healthcare service providers to ensure ease of access to such services to all deserving individuals. The South African Department of Health contends that the number of people enrolled into ARV roll-out program in South Africa is low. The South African community may access this service at accredited HIV VCT sites in CCMTs as well as in district and regional hospitals. People who are covered by medical insurance may access these services at private institutions of their choice. HCWs at government institutions suffer a triple whammy from HIV/AIDS, namely, caring for HIV positive patients in the hospital wards daily, supporting relatives stricken by HIV/AIDS (and AIDS-orphaned relatives) as well as carrying out duties of colleagues who are debilitated by HIV/AIDS. Access to HIV VCT services at Tonga Hospital-a 250-bed district hospital in the east of the Mpumalanga province is extremely low. A quantitative and descriptive study was performed to unravel the causes of the low access to HIV VCT services by HCWs at Tonga Hospital. Using an anonymous questionnaire (for which names and surnames were not required), this study found that fear and stigma of a HIV diagnosis played a huge role in preventing HCWs at Tonga Hospital from accessing free HIV VCT services at their place of work.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: The advent of HIV/AIDS poses a gigantic challenge to mankind. This global pandemic calls on all of us-regardless of whether we operate within government circles or in the private sector-to cooperate in eradicating the scourge of HIV/AIDS. The global impact of HIV/AIDS has wreaked grave havoc on family structures, the Health and Education sectors as well as various crucial productive industries, namely, the agricultural, mining, retail and financial services sectors. The South African national Department of Health is charged with leading the provision of access to HIV VCT services for all deserving members of the South African community. It behoves of all of healthcare service providers to ensure ease of access to such services to all deserving individuals. The South African Department of Health contends that the number of people enrolled into ARV roll-out program in South Africa is low. The South African community may access this service at accredited HIV VCT sites in CCMTs as well as in district and regional hospitals. People who are covered by medical insurance may access these services at private institutions of their choice. HCWs at government institutions suffer a triple whammy from HIV/AIDS, namely, caring for HIV positive patients in the hospital wards daily, supporting relatives stricken by HIV/AIDS (and AIDS-orphaned relatives) as well as carrying out duties of colleagues who are debilitated by HIV/AIDS. iv Access to HIV VCT services at Tonga Hospital-a 250-bed district hospital in the east of the Mpumalanga province is extremely low. A quantitative and descriptive study was performed to unravel the causes of the low access to HIV VCT services by HCWs at Tonga Hospital. Using an anonymous questionnaire (for which names and surnames were not required), this study found that fear and stigma of a HIV diagnosis played a huge role in preventing HCWs at Tonga Hospital from accessing free HIV VCT services at their place of work.

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