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BOTSWANA: Caregivers manual launched

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

GABORONE, 5 April (PLUSNEWS) - A new manual designed to help health care workers deal with the impact of HIV/AIDS has been launched in Botswana.

"The effect on nurses of seeing so many patients die is devastating," said health minister Lesego Motsumi. "If psychological needs and the learning needs of the caregivers are neglected, they may affect their effectiveness and confidence in their practice of care, therefore they need to be addressed."

The manual, "Caring for the Caregivers", was released last week in a country with one of the world's highest levels of HIV infection.

Not only are health workers having to deal with the impact of HIV/AIDS at the professional level, in terms of the rising numbers of patients, but also in their personal lives. More than a third of Botswana's 1.7 million people are estimated to be HIV positive.

"Stigma and denial cause even nurses to turn away from testing and the life-saving [antiretroviral] ARV treatment that is now provided freely by the government," said US ambassador Joseph Huggins.

The failure to acknowledge and express feelings associated with death and dying can result in stress and burnout among health workers, the manual points out.

"In my work there is a lot of stress, especially with the number of patients dying from HIV/AIDS. We will pick up some skills from the manual and use it as a reference point," nurse Tiroyaone Tshipo told PlusNews.

"It also helps address issues raised in caring for dying patients. We will also be able to extend coping skills to relatives of the deceased," she added.


Recent BOTSWANA Reports
The ABC of Masturbation,  5/Jul/05
Red tape stymies media spreading anti-AIDS message ,  26/May/05
Tenofovir trials to start soon - despite controversy,  30/Mar/05
Anti-AIDS drugs for armed forces,  10/Mar/05
US $ 35 million boost for anti-AIDS efforts,  9/Mar/05
Le portail d'informations générales de la Côte d’Ivoire
The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
Mothers and HIV/AIDS

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