Resource Logo
CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

SOUTH AFRICA: Empower the Home-Based Care Workers


Inter Press Service (08.06.09) - Monday, August 10, 2009

With an adult HIV prevalence rate of 21.5 percent, South Africa is struggling to provide AIDS-related services to patients. Those on the front lines of disease-fighting efforts there say the government should embrace and support one often overlooked option - home-based care.

"Home-based care is probably the only workable solution in the South African context, but it should not be regarded as a cheap solution. The state does not provide nurses who provide home-based care, so they should really empower the home-based care workers," said Chloe Hardy of AIDS Law Project, an organization based at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. The lack of funding for workers, however is a big obstacle to home-based care, she said.

Nombuso Mdluli is one of 40 volunteer caregivers at Soweto Hospital. Like many other caregivers across the country, she receives a monthly stipend of about $40 for her efforts. Currently, Mdluli is in charge of 13 patients.

"My visits usually start with 'category three' patients, those who are bedridden," Mdluli explained. "I do bed bathing, dressing of calluses and sores, and provide counseling. Most of the people I visit are extremely poor, and in most cases cannot even manage taxi fare to a hospital. When a patient is in need of medical care or needs medicine to be prescribed, then I contact one of the nurses at the hospice who will do a house visit." In the four years that Mdluli has been a volunteer caregiver, she has seen a softening of attitudes toward people and families affected by the pandemic. "People understand the disease a lot better and we also teach the families how to take care of the patients," she noted.


Copyright © 2009 -CDC Prevention News Update, Publisher. All rights reserved to Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD. The CDC National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention provides the following information as a public service only. Providing synopses of key scientific articles and lay media reports on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis does not constitute CDC endorsement. This daily update also includes information from CDC and other government agencies, such as background on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) articles, fact sheets, press releases and announcements. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update should be cited as the source of the information. Contact the sources of the articles abstracted below for full texts of the articles.

Information in this article was accurate in August 10, 2009. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.