Lay-care providers' lived experiences in HIV/AIDS management the case of Kaptembwa Division, Nakuru Central District, Kenya

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This study examined the Lay-care providers' lived experiences in HIV/AIDS management. It was designed to describe the types of people who provide lay-care to HIV/AIDS patients. Secondly, to examine the roles that lay-care providers play in HIV/AIDS management and finally, to examine the problems they face in HIV/AIDS management. The study, which was done in November 2009, enlisted a total of thirty respondents, who were lay-care providers. In order to get the sample, a list of registered HIV / AIDS patients receiving ARV treatment from the Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital was used as the basis of recruitment. It is from this list that those living in Kaptembwa were purposively chosen. Thereafter, through random sampling of the residents of Kaptembwa, thirty HIV/AIDS patients were selected. It is through them that the lay-care providers who were responsible for their care were interviewed. Data was collected using both secondary and primary data sources. The primary methods included narratives, key informant interviews, in-depth interviews and direct observations. Data was then analyzed using thematic content analysis. The quantitative basic demographic information has been presented using simple frequencies and tables. The findings indicate that the majority of lay-care providers were relatives and were composed of mostly females. Most of them were poor, earning less than Kshs. 5000 per month and had little or no education and knew they were providing care to HIV / AIDS patient yet they were not professionally trained to do so. Secondly, it is noted that lay-care providers playa crucial role in the management of HIV/AIDS in Kaptembwa division. They provide nursing care, nutritional care, physical therapy, offer advice and promotion of responsible sexual behavior, psycho-social support, spiritual support, material support and counseling. Finally, it is reported that they face numerous challenges in the process of managing HIV/ATDS. These challenges include lack of adequate training in HIV/AIDS management, dealing with difficult patients, poor health services provision, inadequate sources of income, inadequate food, inadequate support from the community, stigmatization, lack of adequate water and sanitation facilities, inadequate care package facilities, inadequate counseling and delay of testing of patients, insecurity and psychological strain. The study, thus, recommends the need for proper counseling of patients on ARVs administration, need to sensitize the community on HIV/AIDS and its several ways of ! transmission and the need for timely diagnosis of HI V infection. There is also an urgent need for the Ministry of Health to develop the capacity and skills for Home Based Care management and delivery, there should be a clear policy governing training and minimum standards expected of lay health workers, there should be timely nutritional support by both the government and NGOs to HIV/AIDS patients, there is need to develop strategies and mechanisms of funding care givers to start small and viable income generating projects and finally, there is need to recognize and appreciate the lay-care providers.

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