Original Research

Palliative care needs in Malawi: Care received by people living with HIV

Esmie Mkwinda, Eucebious Lekalakala-Mokgele
Curationis | Vol 39, No 1 | a1664 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v39i1.1664 | © 2016 Esmie Mkwinda, Eucebious Lekalakala-Mokgele | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 December 2015 | Published: 29 June 2016

About the author(s)

Esmie Mkwinda, Community Department, Kamuzu College of Nursing, University of Malawi, Lilongwe, Malawi
Eucebious Lekalakala-Mokgele, School of Health Care Sciences, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa

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Background: Infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has changed from an acute to a chronic illness in the past decade, because of highly active antiretroviral therapy (ART). Malawi’s response to the HIV challenge included provision of ART for people living with HIV or AIDS (PLWHA), which significantly reduced HIV- and AIDS-related mortality. In addition, palliative care for PLWHA was introduced as a strategy that improves the success of ART.

Objective: The purpose of the study was to explore the needs of PLWHA concerning care received from primary caregivers and palliative care nurses in Malawi.

Methods: A qualitative, explorative design was used and 18 participants were selected purposefully and interviewed individually using a semi-structured interview guide. Data were analysed using NVivo software package version 10.

Results: Results revealed that PLWHA needed physical care from the primary caregivers due to severity of illness, integration of healthcare services, and continuity of care and proper care from nurses. They also needed knowledge from nurses in several areas which affected decision-making and needed financial and nutritional support.

Conclusion: More could be done in meeting needs of PLWHA to improve their health and survival and assist them to achieve a better quality of life.

Keywords: people living with HIV/AIDS, palliative care, palliative care nurse, primary caregiver, support


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