Home Care for People with AIDS in Lusaka

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Kaunda, Vukawaka Hilda
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HIV/AIDS ia a major problem in urban Lusaka, with many patients now nursed at home in the terminal stages of this illness, (MOH 1992). This is a cross-sectional, descriptive study to assess the symptom management practices, of the Home Based Caregivers for people with AIDS in Lusaka. The study attempted to assess the home remedial practices of careproviders. It also examined the availability of resources for home care and the extent of material and emotional support to the caregivers, from the government, non¬governmental organisations, the community and the family members.A review of the relevant literature was based on the current and projected impact of HIV/AIDS on the government, hospitals and health centres, the infected people and the affected household family members in the homes. In particular, literature explored the experiences of caregivers, while looking after sick people at home.The target population was all caregivers under Home Care Programme working for a period of six months or more, in the six zones of Lusaka. A semi-structured interview schedule and a checklist, were used to collect data.The questions aimed to elicit information regarding demographic data of respondents, availability of resources for care in the home, the extent of material and emotional support from the family and the community at large. The results showed that, over 60 percent of the Home Based Caregivers have problems in coping and caring for people with AIDS. The problem was com¬pounded by the absence of government policy and guidelines on Home Care. The government has endorsed Home Care in its Health Reforms Strategy, but the implementation of Home care has neither been fully implemented nor monitored. There was no funding or allocation, specifically for the home based care¬givers. Funding from donors was absorbed in manage¬ment costs such as salaries and fuel. The caregivers appreciated current services, but expressed several extra needs. Recommendations are made, to various authorities,for consideration.
People with AIDS , Public Health