Challenges faced by healthcare providers in implementing community-based health services provided to HIV and AIDS clients in Songea Municipality, Tanzania. (Published)
Background: Community-based health care providers provide support in the running of the HIV/AIDS interventions focused on reducing the magnitude of diseases of public health importance, however, the implementation is faced with various challenges, which need to be explored by this study. Objective:To explore Challenges experienced by community-based health care providers during the execution of their duties to HIV and AIDS clients in Songea Municipality.Methods: The study employed qualitative methods for data collection in Songea Municipality with the District management team, counselors, health care workers, and the health facility in charges of three levels of health facilities (Hospital, Health center, and Dispensary). Purposive sampling was used to select participants. Total of 2 Focus Group Discussions with 10 health care providers (5 Male, 5 Female). 18 In-depth interviews and 4 Key informant Interviews with health managers were interviewed. Data audio was recorded, transcribed, coded, and analyzed using NVIVO software following thematic analysis approach.Results: The results of this study have revealed the interaction of factors associated with the delivery of services in the community by health care providers are as follows; Barriers like social-cultural practices mentioned to improve treatment services among PLHIV. Issues of continuous non-disclosure amongst discordant couples and stigma have been observed. Furthermore, a shortage of qualified staff with current updates of care and treatment was found to be a major challenge. Inadequate infrastructure for the increasing number of clients in the facilities is one of the mentioned challenges as you find more than one service is provided in one room with a lack of privacy and a breach of confidentiality.Conclusion: Centrally the study has testified that increasing the number of human resources for health (HRH) can increase adoption and retention of clients to care. Reliable transportation of drugs and other commodities to the community all year round, availability of incentives to HCPs for working extra hours, and reliable medical supplies can make an impact on the quality of care, comprehensive pre and post-test counseling for discordant couples will minimize stigma and discrimination amongst couples Regular on the job training and frequent refresher training for most recent updates from MoH will equip HCPs with current skills to manage our clients and thus improve retention into care.