Improving hospital care for young children in the context of HIV/AIDS and poverty

SOURCE: Journal of Child Health Care
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2009
TITLE AUTHOR(S): L.Richter, U.Chandan, T.Rochat
KEYWORDS: CHILD WELL-BEING, CHILDREN, HIV/AIDS, HOSPITAL CARE, NURSING, POVERTY
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Development (HSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 5975

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Abstract

Paediatric wards in South African government hospitals are occupied predominantly by children with HIV and AIDS-related illnesses. Although access to anti-retroviral treatment for adults is being scaled up, it is likely to be many years before South Africa achieves anywhere near universal access for children. Currently, most children living with HIV or AIDS are identified only when they become acutely or chronically ill and/or hospitalized, if at all. In the absence of treatment, the stress of caring for ill and hospitalized HIV-positive children often results in emotional withdrawal among both health professionals and caregivers. The demoralizing cycle of repeated admissions, treatment failure and death also affect the quality of the care given to HIV-negative children in over-burdened wards. This article describes the development of simple, low-cost and context-relevant interventions to improve the care environment for young hospitalized children within the context of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and poverty.