Home-based care for people with HIV/AIDS: Agomanya, Ghana

From December 1987 to January 1988, a team of medical personnel from the Korle-Bu teaching hospital undertook an epidemiological study in the Krobo district to study the efficiency and potency of a Korean and Zairean herbal preparation. Findings showed that: more people with HIV/AIDS remained undetected in their homes than the number who reported in the hospitals; the disease was recognized as one for those who traveled outside the country; some related HIV infection to evil spirits; and certain hospitals were afraid of being labeled as having AIDS in the hospitals. Community, church and NGO involvement in case-identification, mobilization, education, treatment and support was stressed. St. Martins clinic at Agomanya took in many of the HIV/AIDS sufferers in the area. The clinic tried to involve the community in the education and support of sufferers, to provide home-based nursing care, counseling services, social and pastoral support and provide income-generating activities for young people in the area. The services provided were: outpatient care; home care; pastoral care and social services. The programme was evaluated to judge whether the needs of the community and patients were met by the services provided and to draw lessons for the future. Between 1988 and 1991, there was an increase in the number of people living with HIV/AIDS and receiving home-based care. Some recommendations were put forward, including: the importance of political involvement to support in the areas of personnel, finance and material from the national, regional and district levels; employment opportunities for young people in rural areas; and educational programmes on HIV/AIDS in existing activities. It is also suggested that churches and Christian families should play a leading role in promoting sex education and moral values. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI.