Nursing Leadership and HIV/AIDS in Botswana

Tuesday, 31 October 2017: 8:20 AM

Nthabiseng A. Phaladze, PhD, MScN, BEd (Nsg)
School of Nursing, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana

Background: The practice of nursing has been profoundly affected by HIV/AIDS in Botswana. The demands made by HIV/AIDS exceed the health care budgets by far, thus demanding more effort and resources from all sectors of society. Nursing’s role in the formulation of health policy provides challenging opportunities for expanding awareness of population health care needs and for influencing health outcomes. The BAIS IV survey estimated a national prevalence rate of 18.5 % compared to 17.6 % in BAIS III among population aged 18 months and above. Among the same population HIV incidence rate (adjusted) was estimated at 1.35% compared to 1.45 per cent in 2008. Females had a relatively higher prevalence rate of 20.8 % compared to 15.6 % for males. Nurses are the cornerstone of Botswana’s health care delivery system. Their role in policy formulation and development as well as their active participation in the budgetary process and human resource allocation for health is critical.

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to interrogate the nursing leadership in health planning and resource allocation decisions with a specific focus on HIV and AIDS.

Methodology: A case study research method was utilized. A total of 11 organizations agreed to participate in the study and a sample of 19 study participants was purposively selected from these organizations. Inclusion criteria: (a) persons in senior management in government, private sector and nongovernmental organizations; (b) experience in health care policy or delivery; and (c) had been with the organization for at two years.

Results: The policy process was affected by three major factors: inadequate and/or poor planning, poor implementation of HIV/AIDS policy and contextual factors (historical, socio-cultural and psychological) which include lack of and/or inadequate resources.

Conclusion: The findings suggest a refocus in nursing research to expand a knowledge base on health policy and its impact on quality patient care. The lack of and/or exclusion of nurses in the policy process has implications for policy implementation.