An examination of Pentecostal Churches' care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS: a case study of Northmead Assembly of God and Gospel outreach fellowship
Phiri, Mwila Noreen
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The study examined Pentecostal churches’ care and support to people living with HIV and AIDS in Zambia. Using qualitative method, a descriptive study was undertaken at Northmead Assembly of God and Gospel Outreach Fellowship churches where a model of home-based care was implemented that links hospitals, clinics, and home-based care in a continuum. Data were collected from people living with HIV and AIDS, their caretakers, health care workers, and community members using semi-structured interviews, observation, and recording of conversations. The study revealed that Pentecostal churches are actively involved in the care and support of people living with HIV and AIDS through education, the establishment of clinics, provision of testing and counseling services, antiretroviral drugs and operation of orphanages. However, the study revealed that there was no transparency and accountability in the way resources from donors were utilized or raised from within the programmes operated by the churches. The study also revealed that most people paid huge sums of money to access services offered by the church even though the Church publicised the provision of such services for free. The study recommends that Pentecostal churches should do more in the care and support of people living with HIV and AIDS as their current work was limited in scope and magnitude. The study also recommends that future research should examine in-depth the systems of accountability and transparency in the way resources are utilised in the Church in order to prevent personal enrichment among Church leaders.
- Education