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An exploration of the experiences of social workers and nurses treating HIV/TB patients during the COVID-19 pandemic at King Dinuzulu Hospital in Durban.

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The outbreak of COVID-19, a global health pandemic, created a tsunami of problems resulting in lockdowns as the world grappled to understand and contain its spread and save lives. For King Dinuzulu Hospital, a specialised healthcare centre for the treatment of TB, its designation as a COVID-19 health facility in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, turned it into a facility managing three epidemics, COVID-19, TB and HIV. The main aim of this study was to explore the experiences of public social workers and nurses caring for and treating TB/HIV patients during the COVID-19 pandemic at King Dinuzulu Hospital. This study utilised a qualitative research methodology. Data were collected from 15 HCWs (seven public social workers and eight nurses) selected using a purposive sampling methodology. One-on-one in-depth interviews were conducted. These were guided by an interview guide with open-ended questions, and the collected data were analysed using thematic content analysis. The study revealed that COVID-19 negatively affected the delivery of social work and nursing services at King Dinuzulu Hospital, and HCWs experienced psychological distress due to fear of being infected, infecting their family members and seeing some of their colleagues and patients at KDH die from COVID-19 pandemic. The mitigation measures that were put in place to blunt the full impact of COVID-19 on HCWs providing services to TB/HIV patients, went some way in preventing a total disaster from happening. KDH needs to resolve the shortage of HCWs, provide sufficient PPEs, repair and provide access to telephones/ mobile phones, and provide adequate and conducive offices.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.