Supporting the Process of HIV Disclosure

Nokuthula Khumalo (Paediatric Programme Manager) and Sizakele Ndlovu (Paediatric Programme Coordinator) manage CHIVA SA’s paediatric programme which this year is working in North West Province and KZN.

During 2016 we are mentoring and teaching health care workers in facilities in North West Province. Our aim is to empower them and build their confidence in providing children and adolescents on ART with appropriate knowledge that will help them to take control of their lives and live a healthy long life.

HIV disclosure is one of the challenges health care workers are facing in management of children with HIV resulting in high defaulter rate.

999_IMG_4392In one of the facilities during a recent CHIVA SA support visit, there was a case where a 16 year old boy defaulted clinic visits and treatment, and was also reported missing classes. The mother had not explained to the child that he was living with HIV and why he has to take treatment. The child didn’t understand the reason why he has to take these tablets every day when he is not sick. As the Sister in charge of the facility related her concern about losing this child to care, the CHIVA SA team linked the case with the local Social Worker so as to do home visit to the boy’s family and intervene appropriately.

The mother was able to bring the child in the clinic the very same day and the CHIVA SA team facilitated disclosure process whereby the Sister in charge helped the mother to disclose both their status to the boy successfully, and they were both brought back into care. Since then, we have been in contact with the Sister in charge to offer further support and are pleased to hear that the child in question is now attending clinic and taking medication.

This is a great example of how on-site mentoring can not only have immediate results but can also empower staff and build knowledge for the future.

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