Monday, November 5, 2007

This presentation is part of : Innovations in Clinical Excellence Evidence-Based Practice Contest Winners II
HIV AIDS Pandemic:Community Based Home Care
Cecilia Blankson-Oduro, SRN, CMB, FPSP, Community health, Life Relief Foundation, Takoradi, Ghana
Learning Objective #1: Acquire increase knoweldge and skill in community home based care for PLWHA by 5%
Learning Objective #2: Understand the need for community involvement and participation in the fight against HIVAIDS .


          The number of persons infected with HIV in Ghana has risen steadily since the start of the epidemic in the mid 1980’s. By the end of 2005, close to 4 percent (3.6%) of the country’s adult population was estimated to be HIV infected. This translates to about 395,000 Ghanaians between 15-49 years. UNAIDS classify the HIV AIDS situation in Ghana as a generalized low epidemic


           In Ghana, the burden of coping with the needs of AIDS patients falls increasingly on family members who often have limited information, resources; access to the drugs and other necessities.  Patients are therefore abandoned at home to die without care and support, hidden to avoid stigma and even at times treatable opportunistic infections are neglected. As a result, many patients die miserable, painful deaths. HIV AIDS patients have the right for quality health care services to alleviate pain and suffering and prepared towards improved quality of life or dignified death.


The founder who is a member of STTI saw the need to register a non-profit making, non-governmental organization, to contribution to the devastation HIV/AIDS is causing. She initiated the establishment of community-based home care and support services.   This approach is to inform, educate and provide hope through quality and appropriate care and support services for infected people, orphans and affected communities.

Life Relief Foundations work approach is based on its believe that community based home care can offer a quantum of care that includes, community mobilization to identify preventive health,  education, basic nursing care at homes, psycho social counseling, spiritual and  nutrition support to PLWHA, care of orphans and vulnerable children .  It enables self-help, community awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention and helps to counteract myths and misconceptions thus reducing stigma and discrimination against PLWHA and families. It offers community empowerment, creates a sense of ownership and responsibilities which turns to guarantee sustainability for future health interventions in the communities.  PLWHA can form support groups to encourage positive living.


·         Greater Community involvement in finding solutions to care and support services, stigma and discrimination reduction against PLWHA.

·         Strengthen and build  capacities of community leaders, volunteers  and members to provide care and support services  including basic nursing care  to PLWHA , orphans and vulnerable children

·         Provide adequate knowledge, skills and resources for HIV prevention and community based home nursing  care for PLWHA ,volunteers and community members

·         Identify good referral systems for support services including medical care.

·         Form support group for PLWHA for greater involvement and participation.  


The strategies were implemented with strong supports of our traditional/ cultural values of the family and community through Community mobilization, sensitization, BCC activities - Radio discussions local FM, Focus group discussions, video shows, drama. Training of PLWHA, community volunteers and families as care givers, and counselors and Formation of community management committees 


Results achieved includes:  274 PLWHA and 196 OVC registered, PLWHA receive  daily psychosocial counseling and treatment support, 2580 BCC activities organized, 66 AIDS patients received basic nursing care in their homes, 120 PLWHA, volunteers trained as peer educators, home caregivers with developed manual, identification and registers of PLWHA is through links with hospitals, caregivers, and  local FM ,Trained caregivers visit weekly/ daily. Caregivers use available resource in the home. Two PLWHA support association organized, towards positive living

Evaluation is done through administration of structure questionnaires, interviews, observations, of beneficiariary communities PLWHA, and staff by donors and partners.


Lessons learned:


Community based home care can offer continuum of care to PLWHA and orphans and affected communities at all stages of the infection and  reduce the spread of HIV.