KNOWLEDGE AND ATTITUDE OF HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS TOWARDS HIV/AIDS PATIENTS IN MARY SLESSOR ITU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
- Background of the study
With an estimated 3.5 million people with HIV/AIDS, Nigeria is home to one of every eleven (11) of the forty (49) million people with HIV/AIDS worldwide. The HIV Prevalence among adult in Nigeria has increase from 1.8% in 1991 to an estimated 5.8% in 2001 ( joint united nations programme on AIDS 2006).Prevalence ranges from 2% to 4% in the country, according to official estimates Nigeria has an estimate 3.6 million people with HIV/AIDS and approximately 310,000 AIDS death this year and these numbers are protected to increase each year(joint united nation programme on HIVAIDS 2005).
People living with HIVAIDS(PLWHA) worldwide have been found to be subjected to discrimination and stigmatization in the work place ,family and communities(centre for the right to health(2006).people living with HIV/AIDS may be face discrimination from those employed in the health care sector including Nurses, Doctors and other health care providers.
This discrimination attitude or unethical behavior by health care professionals against people living with AIDS as documented in other countries may create an atmosphere that interferes with effective prevention and treatment, by discouraging individuals from being tested ,or seeking information on how to protect themselves and others from HIV/AIDS (Mann, Gostin, Gruskin, Brennan, Lazarrin,(2006).
With increasing number of people living with HIV/AIDS,AIDS control and preventive strategies must not only continue to encourage behavioural modification by all, but should also highlight the need to respect, to right to care of the increasing number of people with HIV/AIDS.
In addition, there should be full integration of those persons within the context of their families and the society at large in the most appropriate ways that would allow them to continue to live productive lives socially and economically(Stone and Kaleeba,(2008) .
In reality the fear of being infected at workplaces, education institutions and in the community has led to irrational and discriminatory treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS.
Their rights to employment ,housing, education, and even health and nursing care are being violated because of their HIV status(federal ministry of health/Nigeria Medical Association,(2005).
This practice unfortunately exist despite that non-sexual contact with HIV positive individuals carries little or no risk (Friedland,(2008).
Health care providers who are also members of the general community are likely to elicit similar prejudicial and fearful reactions to HIV/AIDS infected persons as members of the community. The resultant effect of such negative attitudes including poor patient management, with people being denied most needed treatment, are and support. This inturn could affect their morale, selfesteem and self determination to live quality lives devoid of stigma, fear, depression and discrimination(UNAIDS,2005). Furthermore, discriminatory, attitude and violations of international principles of medical ethics may serve to legitimize other forms of discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS. World wide report suggests that health care professionals in Nigeria may engage in in discriminatory attitude against people with HIV/AIDS(Alubo,Zwandor,Jolayemi,Omudo,(2004).
Maintaining the desired quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS is possible mainly through extensive ,competent and compassionate nursing care. Yet, the provision of their care raises health and occupational concerns for all levels of health providers(International council for Nurses,2005).
There is therefore an urgent need for all health care providers particularly nurses who have direct contact and spend more time with patients to examine their personal attitudes towards people living with HIV/AIDS as this can compromise compassionate care. The number of health care workers per 10,000 increased from 29.2 in 2001 to 34.4 in 2008(Ministry of health care Vietnam and health partnership group 2010).Despite this, there are limitations in quality and quality of health care providers which inhibit the expansion of quality practices in provincial and district levels. Inorder to alleviate some of the tensions caused by lack of proper training, the ministry of health workers quality should be achieved through investment in training facilities, improving quality of instructors and strengthening practice facilities.(Ministry of Health,Vietnam,2010).
Gostin (2009) reported that even specialist had difficulty remaining knowledgeable about virologicals, immunologicals, epidemiological, clinical and social behavioural aspect of the pandemic.
Several studies reported higher knowledge among group of nurses who reported having receive HIV elated in service training compared to those not having receive any (brown, Rae, an Calder (2006).
Based on this fact, the researcher pick pan interest to carryout the research to determine the level of knowledge and attitude of health care providers towards HIV/AIDS patients in Mary Sclessor Hospital Itu Local Government Area.