The role of community health workers in the HIV/AIDS Programme

Sondlane, Johan Senias (2008-12)

Thesis (MPA (School of Public Management and Planning))--Stellenbosch University, 2008.


The role of Community Health Workers (CHWs) in the HIV/AIDS Programme is directly dependent on the support systems provided by nurses, NGOs, the community, institutional frameworks, and government funding and stress management institutions. The Home-based caregivers that work in the HIV/AIDS Programme are CHWs who need maximum support from the above- mentioned institutions. The community is also reeling with the aggravating consequences of HIV/AIDS. CHWs play a role in trying to take care of the HIV patients within the home environment. People are cared for by the people they associate with and people who live with them. In order for CHWs to maximise their contribution to the HIV/AIDS Programme, there should be commitment from all stakeholders involved in the programme. Forty-one people from formal and non-formal structures took part in the study. The formal structures refer to clinics and hospitals, whereas informal structures refer to Home-based care (HBC) groups, volunteers, NGOs and international donor agencies. The study was conducted over a period of eight weeks. The study was conducted at Cork, Calcutta and Mkhuhlu clinics, and Mkhuhlu Home-based care and on USAID field officers. The results of the study suggested that with support systems from the relevant institutions, CHWs are able to carry their community obligations in an effective and efficient manner. These findings have positive relationship implications towards the reduction of HIV infections in the community. Hospitals that are faced with overcrowding also benefit in a way, when terminally ill patients are cared for at HBC centres.

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