Evaluation of voluntary counselling and testing services in a health district, South Africa: service providers' perspectives
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The aim of this study was to evaluate the Voluntary Counselling and HIV testing (VCT) services for counsellor effectiveness, availability and accessibility, and the barriers towards implementation of the programme. The sample included 60 VCT counsellors working at hospitals and clinics situated within the Greater Tzaneen sub-district geographical area systematically sampled from the total number of trained VCT counsellors in this sub-district (?200). Results indicate that almost all were confident or very confident (96.6%) and felt comfortable or very comfortable (96.6%) in providing VCT services. Not all (8.3%) had a private counselling room available and 35% lacked information, education and counselling materials. More than half of the respondents reported shortage of counsellors as the main obstacle in rendering VCT (58.3%), followed by lack of counsellor support at 13.3%. The majority of respondents have never attended a debriefing or mentoring session (65%), while only a third of the respondents have attended a debriefing or mentoring session (35%). Almost two-thirds (58.3%) indicated that had not attended an update or refresher course on VCT.