The impact of HIV/AIDS on the health care provision in Lesotho : perceptions of health care providers.
Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest number of people living with HIV and AIDS in the world. Several studies that were carried out suggest that there is a negative impact of HIV and AIDS on the health sector. This impacts directly on health care providers as they are the first point of contact for ill people. This study seeks to explore the impact of HIV and AIDS on health care provision looking at the perception of health care providers. Qualitative methods were used for collecting data from the health care providers. Two focus group discussions were conducted and ten in-depth interviews were conducted in three health care facilities in Lesotho. Audio tapes were used to record the interviews and thematic analysis was utilized to analyse the data. The results showed that the workload has increased due the increased number of people who seek health care services. There is also a shortage of staff in facilities which leads to health workers having to work extra hours. The study further indicated that there is lack of knowledge among health care providers regarding the management of HIV and AIDS. Consequently, the health care providers fear the risk of contracting HIV from their patients. In addition, the results revealed that the poor infrastructure at the facilities hinder health care providers from performing their duties effectively. The other concern was the lack of support structures from the management. Furthermore, stigma and discrimination emerged as the major problems for providers as work and home. As a result, the health care providers are stressed and suffered from burnout. There is a need for further research on the impact of HIV and AIDS on health providers. Government should take more responsibility for encouraging students to enroll at health training institutes. The curriculum should include an emphasis on HIV and AIDS and workshops on HIV and AIDS should be held.
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