To investigate the extent to which under-five HIV positive children access Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) : a case of Siavonga District of Southern Province of Zambia

Chinkubala, Lontia (2015-04)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The impact of HIV/AIDS has affected all categories of people in society, including children under the age of five. This segment of the population depends entirely on adults and older children in order for them to survive. This research endeavoured to investigate the extent to which under-five HIV positive children access ART in Siavonga District in the Southern Province of Zambia. The necessity of such information for all cannot be over-emphasised as this category of the population under study is among the most neglected when it comes to issues of HIV/AIDS. Under-five HIV positive children need special attention in order for them to enjoy their right to survival and development. In terms of methodology, the research took an interpretive approach as it employed the qualitative methodology in its endeavours, in order to get an in-depth understanding of people’s views on the topic under research. Different interview schedules were used to collect data from community members, Community Health Workers (CHW), Home-based Care Providers (HBCP), staff of the Ministry of Health and District AIDS Task Force (DATF). The findings of this research addressed all the objectives but one. This research revealed that almost all the community members in Siavonga District had general knowledge about HIV/AIDS and the need for under-five HIV positive children accessing antiretroviral therapy. However, their attitudes and practices varied when it came to the application of this knowledge. According to respondents, the major challenges that under-five HIV positive children were facing when it came to accessing ART were as follows: food insecurity, followed by access to health facilities and social matters. Others included stigma and discrimination, long distances to health facilities, inadequate disposable income at household level and negative attitudes by some people who think that it is a waste of time and resources to give too much attention, including ART to under-five HIV positive children whom according to them will die soon. However, the majority of respondents indicated that there was need to accept these children like any other as they too had the right to live; hence, they needed care and support which included facilitating their access to ART. This research was an eye opener to all duty bearers to recognize and acknowledge the importance of under-five HIV positive children’s access to ART. This will contribute towards enhancing the will to step up efforts for this intervention. From the findings, it is evident that there is need for income generating activities to provide disposable income to people of Siavonga District so that they give appropriate support, particularly to children who are infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, more resources are required from NGOs, government and other stakeholders to enhance not only sensitization on the importance of the target population’s access to ART, but also provision of these ART services. All relevant stakeholders should heed the call to aggregate information for under-five HIV positive children in question so as to specially target interventions accordingly.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die impak van MIV/Vigs raak alle kategoriee van mense in die samelewing, insluitende kinders jonger as vyf jaar oud. Die segment van die bevolking is heeltemal afhanklik van volwassenes en ouer kinders om te oorleef. Hierdie navorsing poog om die omvang van kinders jonger as vyf, wie MIV positief is, se toegang tot antiretrovirale terapie (ART) in die Siavonga Distrik van die suidelike provinsie van Zambia te ondersoek. Die noodsaaklikheid van sodanige inligting vir alle sektore in die samelewing kan nie oorbeklemtoon word nie, aangesien hierdie kategorie van die bevolking een van die mees verwaarloosde is wanneer dit kom by MIV/Vigs verwante kwessies. Kinders jonger as vyf wie MIV positief is, moet spesiale aandag ontvang sodat hulle reg op oorlewing en ontwikkeling kan geskied. In terme van die metodologie het die navorsing ‘n beskrywende benadering gevolg om die kwalitatiewe metode in sy poging, ten einde ‘n in-diepte begrip van mense se standpunte oor die onderwerp onder navorsing te kry. Verskillende onderhoude is gebruik om data in te samel van gemeenskapslede, gesondheidswerkers in die gemenskap, tuisversorgers, personeel van die Ministerie van Gesondheid en Distriks vigs-taakspan. Die bevindinge van hierdie navorsing het al die doelwitte, behalwe een, aangespreek. Die navorsing het getoon dat byna al die gemeenskapslede in Siavonga Distrik algemene kennis het oor MIV/Vigs en die behoefte van kinders jonger as vyf se toegang tot ART. Hul houdings en praktyke verskil egter in die toepassing van hierdie kennis. Volgens die respondente is die grootste uitdagings wat kinders jonger as vyf ondervind wanneer dit kom by toegang tot ART is voedselonsekerheid, gevolg deur toegang tot gesondheidsfasiliteite en sosiale aangeleenthede. Ander sluit in stigma, diskriminasie, lang afstande na gesondheidsfasiliteite, onvoldoende besteebare inkomste op huishoudelike vlak en negatiewe houdings van sommige mense wat dink dat dit ‘n vermorsing van tyd en hulpbronne is om aan kinders jonger as vyf te spandeer, aangesien, die kinders in elk geval (volgens hulle) binnekort sal sterf.Die meerderheid van die respondente het aangedui dat dit nodig is om hierdie kinders soos enige ander kind te aanvaar en dat hulle ook die reg het om te leef: daarom dat hulle sorg en ondersteuning benodig, wat die fasilitering van hul toegang tot ART insluit. Hierdie navorsing het weer die klem geplaas op die belangrikheid van kinders jonger as vyf se toegang tot ART. Dit is duidelik dat daar ‘n behoefte is aan inkomste-genererende aktiwiteite en om besteebare inkomste aan die mense van Siavonga Distrik te voorsien, sodat hulle toepaslike ondersteuning kan bied, veral aan kinders wat deur MIV/Vigs geraak word. Verder is meer hulpbronne nodig van nie-regeringsorganisasies, die regering en ander belanghebbendes, nie net om die belangrikheid van die teikenbevolking se toegang tot ART nie, maar ook vir voorsiening van hierdie ATR dienste.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/97087
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