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Mediclinic News : New HIV plan worrying Denosa

Title

New HIV plan worrying Denosa

Date

2016-09-06

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News Description

THE STAR At least one nursing union has raised its concerns about the new guidelines on "test and treat" for all HIV positive patients in the country in line with the World Health Organisation guidelines. At the beginning of the month, the National Department of Health announced that, with immediate effect, patients who were HIV positive would be treated regardless of their CD4 levels. In the past patients were treated at a CD4 count of 500 or less. The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) said on Friday that while it was a commendable move, the severe shortage of nurses and the fact that there had been no widespread distribution of the new guidelines was worrying. It added that the two issues may stand in the way of the new regime's success if they were not addressed. "As the ART programme is led and managed by nurses, the gross shortage of nurses is likely to worsen in our facilities as from today. The beginning of the implementation of a universal test and treat (UTT) is not accompanied by an undertaking to take on additional nurses in facilities where there remain vacancies." Denosa added that the shortage was at crisis levels and ignoring it before an increased workload would result in higher stress levels and fatigue for nurses. "Initiating patients on ART will take slightly longer for patients to be attended to because nurses have to educate them about the programme while also counselling patients about being HIV Many patients will remain restless in the queues, and some, including those who collect medication, may give up and go home, thus default on treatment." The union said many nurses were initiating patients based on previous guidelines of CD4 count 500 and less, because the protocols and guidelines hadn't reached their facilities. It called on the government to provide clarity on the issues. Health Ministry spokesman Joe Maila said that in order to decrease the burden on patients and health facilities, the department had started transferring patients, who did not need to see a nurse or doctor more than once a year, into support groups. He said the chronic medicine dispensing and distribution system would be set up to ensure those patients received their medication at places closer to their homes.
Created at 2016/09/15 08:33 AM by Mediclinic
Last modified at 2016/09/15 08:33 AM by Mediclinic