The contribution of pharmacy to the management of HIV patients at Maitama District Hospital, Abuja, Nigeria
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a worldwide problem, with more than 34 million people infected with HIV/AIDS in 2011. At the end of 2011, in Nigeria, an estimated 3.7% of the adult population were living with HIV/AIDS. HIV services in Nigeria are secondary-care led, involving multidisciplinary teams and access to free antiretroviral. However, evaluations of service provision from both patient and healthcare professional perspectives, especially, pharmacists in Nigeria have never been conducted, and are the aims of this research. This study involved grounded theory methodology, using In-depth semi-structured interviews with adults infected with HIV, pharmacists, and administrators involved in the management and care of those patients at Maitama District Hospital in Abuja. HIV pharmacists working for the NHS in the UK were interviewed for comparative purposes. Thirty-five patients were interviewed. Five concepts were identified that influenced how they accessed hospital services after diagnosis. These include faith in God and antiretroviral, social issues with emphasis on HIV stigma and discrimination, patient journeys at the hospital with delays and repeat visits, obstacles such as ARV unavailability and their expectations. Also, five concepts were identified from the pharmacists’ interviews which include clinical service, impressions of service provided, social issues the patients encountered, the obstacles faced with clinical service provided and expectations for improvement. Ten patients were shadowed on their clinic days to observe the patient journey articulated. Furthermore, the administrators interviewed re-affirmed the opinions of the patients and pharmacists about many patients attending HIV clinic, few staff attending to patients, medicines unavailability, especially ARV drugs, and lack of working space for staff. Delays, few pharmacists/many patients and shortage of ART as barriers to service provision ii emerged as dominant themes across the three groups of interviewees in Nigeria. Also, it has been found that there is a wide gap between HIV patients’ hospital management in the UK and Nigeria as regards availability of antiretroviral, staff strength, number of patients in attendance on clinic days and weekly clinic days. Pharmacy was found to have a substantial role in the management of HIV/AID patients but it appears from this study that service improvements, both human and material resources are needed. Twenty three recommendations, which are further synthesised into six potential areas, are made, which, if implemented, would dramatically improve the service provision for HIV/AIDS patients at Maitama District Hospital.