201837 Impact of community health volunteers on home-based care in Livingstone, Zambia

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Holly C. Sienkiewicz, MA , Department of Public Health Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
Sharon Morrison, PhD, MSPH , Department of Public Health Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
The combination of infectious disease epidemics and the deterioration of health infrastructure in Africa have left already fragile healthcare systems in a perilous state. Zambia is one of the many countries affected by these phenomena, with home-based care (HBC) emerging as a vital extension of its clinical care system. This study examines the impact of community health volunteers in HBC delivery to individuals and households impacted by deleterious illnesses (e.g. HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria). Through use of purposive sampling techniques, ethnographic interviews are to be conducted with HBC volunteers and a sample of care recipients in Livingstone, Zambia to determine the nature and context of HBC work, the tasks involved, perspectives of the volunteer's role and the impact on care recipients and their household well-being. When possible, participant observation of HBC volunteer and care recipient interactions will be conducted to provide additional context and understanding related to the perspectives being shared. This presentation reports the findings of our qualitative study and offers insight into the efficacy of HBC as a mechanism for enhancing access to health care in resource limited communities. Implications for expanding HBC within communities and the potential to replicate these services where none currently exist will be discussed. Unfortunately, due to time and travel constraints, HBC volunteers will not be present at the APHA meeting. However, their perspectives and input will be obtained and equally integrated in the interpretation and verification of findings, and development of this presentation.

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to (a) describe the components of home based care in Livingstone, Zambia, and (b) list several ways in which community health volunteers impact care recipients and their household well-being.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a current doctoral student in public health education with a Master's Degree in International Relations. I will be conducting field research in Zambia this summer.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.