The challenges of the community volunteers in the provision of home based care to HIV/AIDS patients in Mbeya municipality.

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University of Dar es Salaam
In response to the impact of HIV/AIDS pandemic on the Health Sector, governments have adopted the Home Based Care strategy for PLWHA. A descriptive cross-sectional study to determine the challenges of the Community Volunteers providing HBC to PLWHA was conducted in Mbeya Municipality in June 2005. The aim of the study was to determine the constraints or problems encountered by community volunteers in providing services to HIV/AIDS patients, in order to recommend ways and means to improve quality of HBC services. The findings of the study have shown that majority of the community volunteers 68.8% were women; 74.0% are primary school leavers and most of them 83.8% are not employed. The main problems found included lack of salaries, no transport, inadequate skills and knowledge, inadequate supplies, poor community support and stigma. From the findings of this study, it is evident that community volunteers providing HBC services to HIV\AIDS patients in our societies face tremendous challenges most of which are beyond their capabilities to solve. Considering the importance of HBC to HIV\AIDS patients; the study recommends that the government in collaboration with all organizations providing HBC to HIV\AIDS patients, workout a policy stating clearly the remuneration of a commodity volunteer. Streamlining HBC services provided by community volunteers into the Comprehensive District Health Plans may provide needed solutions to problems like salaries, transport.
Available in print form, University Dar es Salaam, Wilbert Chagula
Community volunteers, HIV/AIDS, Mbeya municipality.