The Burden of Care

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Health Care Dilemmas in the South African AIDS-pandemic

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With the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Southern Africa maturing, more and more critically ill patients are in desperate need for therapy.

The health care wor­kers are often caught between the overwhelming demand for care and obstacles caused by a lack of funds, confusing political messages and cultural barriers.

The author analyses the existing literature on dilemmas faced by health carers in HIV-care since the beginning of the epidemic in the early 1980s.

Nine interviews with nurses and doctors at an HIV treatment facility in South Africa’s North West Province suggest that the burden by the high work load and problems caused by culture and society are the main issues there.

Whilst the hopelessness of the early years’ hospice care was eased by the successes of the highly active antiretroviral treatment, health care workers now feel left alone by government and management when they face the apocalyptic scale of the pandemic.

Bringing the difficult situation of the health care workers in Southern Africa into attention, this book is written for those involved in the struggle against HIV/AIDS: Doctors and nurses, hospital managers, health educators and poli­tical decisionmakers.

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