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Village Health Workers’ HIV/AIDS Knowledge and service provision among rural communities in Lesotho

Author: 
Regina M. Thetsane, Maseabata V Ramathebane and Tiisetso J Makatjane
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Introduction: For the VHWs to provide meaningful education to the community, they must have adequate information and knowledge about how to help in the improved health outcomes of HIV/AIDS. Research has shown that when VHWs have adequate knowledge of HIV/ AIDS, knowledge will translate to the communities they serve. The main goal of this study is to improve HJV /AIDS treatment outcomes through community health care services in Lesotho. This was achieved by assessing knowledge of HIV amongst the VHWs and the communities they serve in Lesotho. Methods: The study used a cross-sectional qualitative survey approach. The assessment was conducted between September and October 2016. Three questionnaires were developed for the household, clinic, and VHWs. Open Development Kit (ODK) collect was used to collect data electronically using tablets and cell phones. Pilot study was done at Ha Mafefooane and Ha Lehloba villages in the Roma Valley for household questionnaire and Paki clinic in Mazenod for VHWs questionnaire. VHWs were interviewed at the clinic when attending their monthly meetings while households were interviewed at the village level. SPSS was used to analyse data and data validation was carried out in all sampled clinics for VHWs questionnaire. Results: With regard to HIV knowledge, VHWs’ knowledge in Lesotho is inadequate. Less than 40 percent of community members had access to VHWs’ services except accessing ARVs where at least 80 percent of community members were helped by VHWs. Health treatment outputs were generally low on the overall. Recommendations: It therefore recommended that inadequate HIV knowledge among VHWs has to be addressed through offering of refresher courses on HIV/ AIDS at least once a year to sustain the VHWs knowledge and skill.

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