Background to the study
Historical background of the study according to international council of Nursing (ICN) and World Health Organization (WHO 2015), Declaration on AIDS (2015) which states that all health personnel share with other citizens the responsibility for initiating strategies and supporting action to meet the health and social needs of the public. The Health workers responsibility is providing care and promoting the environment in which values, customs and spiritual belief of the individual are respected. Sevgi (2013).
The management and knowledge of the hospital workers in providing care to the HIV/AIDS patients might not be unconnected with their perception of being at risk of contacting AIDS as reported by West African Journal of Nursing (2005).
The report as published by the population reports on issues in World Health
(2005) that AIDS have already been taking its tall among professionals like in
Health institution. WHO went further to give example in a hospital study in Zaria,
Kaduna State of Nigeria about 9% of doctors, nurses and other health
professionals tested in 2001 were infected with AIDS virus. The report might also
be included among the causes of fear and altitude of health workers towards
management of these unfortunate HIV infected patients.
International Nurses Review (1999) reported that lack of adequate knowledge
about HIV/AIDS among hospital workers has been reported although those who
were more knowledgeable about the disease were not even necessarily more
comfortable when managing patients with HIV/AIDS.
British Journal of Nursing (2003) clearly defined AIDS as Acquired Immuned
Deficiency Syndrome while Barrel-Sinoussi et al (1998) had it that HIV is Human
Immune Deficiency Virus, which is its globally accepted meaning. They went
further to describe the virus as a very simple living organism consisting of a
capsule containing genetic material. It is about 100mm in diameter and can
only live and reproduce inside a living cell in the body. However, its sensitivity is
low in the first three to six months of live but is 90-95% after six months.
Since the reported recognition of AIDS case by Dr. Holulietic (1981) researcher in
France (1983) and USA (1984) respectively, it has been discovered despite all
education and awareness on precautions and recommendation, the infection with
HIV still remain on the increase.
The Joint United Nation Programme of HIV/AIDS (2005) confirmed this in recent
Publication. South Sahara Africa in which Nigeria belongs also shows tremendous
increase of 2.5 million which might be one of the causes of fear in hospital
workers towards management of HIV/AIDS patients.
Miller (2000) in his book, “The management of Aids patients” gathered that the
commonest mode of transmission of this virus throughout the world horizontally
is by sexual intercourse and vertically from mother to infant in the uterus.
Yielding (2009) further reported that it can also be contacted through the receipt
of infected blood or blood products and donated organs or semen. It could be
through the sharing or reuse of contaminated needles by injecting drugs for
therapeutic procedures. This report also might cause fear into hospital workers as
they are always in constant touch with the mentioned ways of contacting AIDS.
However, Miller, Wember and Green (2006) said there was no well documented
evidence that the virus is spread by casual or social contact like shaking of hands,
sharing of toilets, touching positive patients or talking to them or by mosquitoes
or lice etc. From the above reports, most of the hospital workers who are still
ignorant of the mode contact will surely change their management
strategies/techniques towards caring for these unfortunate HIV/AIDS victims.
National AIDS and STDs control programme, Federal Ministry of Health and Social
services reported in their books, “Handbook on HIV infection and AIDS for health
workers” page 9 states that group II HIV Asymtomatic infection involves the
majority of HIV infected persons who are seropositive and asymtomatic can
however transmit the virus to others. This might not be farfetched towards
hospital workers phobia in managing these patients. It will be a good experience
and health promotion that hospital workers will acquaint themselves with the
clinical manifestation of AIDS which includes fever, sweats, malaise, lethargy,
mylagia, arthrapia, anorexia. All patients coming in for surgery should be screened
of HIV as a routine. Above all, all hospital workers attending to these patients
should fortify themselves by eating a well balanced diet to gain enough immunity
so as to defend themselves being infected from this ugly disease and manace.
Due to the ugly ravaging state of this ugly disease, most of the hospital workers
tend to generate fear in themselves in management of HIV/AIDS positive patients
because of its nature as a terminal disease. Most hospital workers also tend to
behave indifferently towards lack of adequate knowledge on the causes and
prevention of the disease. Discriminating among patients infected with HIV/AIDS
does not stop the spread of the disease rather it can only increase the irrational
fear and misunderstanding that drives HIV underground. Adrian (2000). In the
light of the above statement by Adrian, the feeding and knowledge of hospital
workers in management of these patients require reassessment so as to take
steps to modify those that are not negative in caring in order to prevent adverse
effects of such attitude as we know that the main responsibility of hospital
workers is management of clients with various types of disease including
HIV/AIDS positive patients.
As a result of these fear and stigma attached to this disease, researcher intend to
dispel that fear among hospital workers caring for HIV/AIDS patients and also
dispel fears that hinders the acceptance of managing these patients.
Statement of the Problem
it has been discovered that the infection with HIV/AIDS still remains on the
increase despite all education and awareness on precautions and
Because of this, tremendous increase on this infection causes much fear in nurses,
doctors and other health workers managing these HIV/AIDS patients. The patients
most times feel shy to report to the clinic that they are the patients and in some
cases, HIV/AIDS patients usually abscond from hospital and go about infecting
The reason for all these, propelled this study as the researcher tends to access the
management techniques on HIV/AIDS patients in hospital.
Purpose of the study
The main purpose of this study is to find out:
- The extent of awareness of HIV/AIDS among health workers in hospital
- The attitudes of health workers towards management of HIV/AIDS patients
- The extent at which the fear of stigma attached to this disease hinders the acceptance of managing these HIV/AIDS patients by health workers
- The adequacy of materials for preventive measures against HIV/AIDS.
Significance of the study
The findings from this study will be beneficial to HIV/AIDS patients and hospital workers.
To the patients: it will assist in the improvement of patients treatment. It will also enhance proper management techniques from the hospital workers on the patients.
To the hospital workers: The study will help to create awareness to the hospital workers about HIV/AIDS. It will also reassure the hospital workers on prevention and control of patients under their care and ensure safety of hospital workers managing the patients.
Scope of the study
The study is carried out mostly on hospital workers working in medical, surgical, theatre, obstetrics and laboratory department of General hospital in Awka.
For the purpose of this study, the following research questions were formulated as a guide to the research.
- To what extent has the awareness of HIV/AIDS infection helped health workers in management of AIDS patients
- What are the attitudes of hospital workers towards managements of HIV/AIDS patients
- To what extent does fear of stigma attached to this disease hinder the acceptance of managing these HIV/AIDS patients by health workers.
- Will the adequacy of hospital equipment and drugs help in the prevention of HIV/AIDS.
Definition of terms.
Knowledge: Awareness, knowing about a condition.
Attitude: A way of thinking or behaving towards a condition.
Nurses: Trained health personnel designed to look after sick persons
Caring: Looking after, showing concern to a sick person or the needy
HIV: Human Immune Deficiency Virus
AIDS: Acquired Immuned Deficiency Syndrome
Patients: Sick people who need medical care from health personnel.