||Dick J & Schoeman JH
||Tuberculosis in the community: 2. The perceptions of
members of a tuberculosis health team toward a voluntary health worker
||TUBERCLE & LUNG DIS 1996, 77, 380-83
The setting is a voluntary health worker programme,
in the Western Cape South Africa, utilizing volunteers to administer
directly observed therapy to TB patients. This study describes the
perceptions of health team members regarding the voluntary community
health worker project. A qualitative, participatory research study
utilizing focus groups.
TB was perceived by the health team to be a stigmatized
disease causing some patients to be reluctant to be associated with
the TB control programme. Despite the projects dedicated approach
to case-holding volunteers expressed the need to develop skills
in providing more comprehensive care. The volunteers appear to administer
a more personalized service to TB patients and can bridge the gap
between TB patients and the health agency. Sustained evaluation
and support seem to be a vital tool in integrating a volunteer project
into a health team approach. Its effectiveness appears to depend
to a large degree on the people involved.
|KEY WORDS: VOLUNTARY ORGANIZATION; SOCIAL AWARENESS;
HEALTH TEAM; HEALTH WORKER; SOUTH AFRICA.