An investigation into the low rate of reporting of confirmed AIDS–related deaths by private medical practitioners : the implementation of BI–1663 in Mafikeng
Molosi, Letlhogonolo Daniel
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The aim of this study was to investigate experiences and perceptions of private · medical practitioners about the implementation of the current death notification form (Bl-1663) in cases of confirmed Aids-related deaths. The study focussed on reporting patterns by private medical practitioners of the deceased's underlying causes of death in BI-1663. The study also focussed on the reasons advanced for the reporting patterns described above. The research method employed in this study was cross-sectional surveys. Self-administered questionnaires were used to gather the data and the target population was all private medical practitioners practising within the Mafikeng / Mmabatho area of the North West Province of South Africa. A response rate of eighty-two and half per cent (82,50%) was achieved. The data were presented in the form of frequency tables and pie charts and descriptive statistics was used to analyse it. The findings of this study revealed that the majority of private medical practitioners either omitted information that HIV / AIDS was an underlying cause of death or reported another condition in BI-1663 during notification of confirmed AIDS related deaths. Reasons advanced for the phenomenon were fears of unauthorised breach of the deceased's confidential information by unintended parties that often led to invalidation of the deceased's insurance and funeral benefits, as well as stigmatisation and social discrimination of relatives the deceased. The study recommends that third parties (informants) should be relieved of the duties of conveying the deceased's confidential medical information to the state during death notification processes. Medical practitioners themselves should submit Part 2 of BI- 1663 that contains the deceased's confidential information directly to Public Health Officials. The study also recommends that the Department of Health should provide formal training to the medical practitioners with respect to death certification in order to enable them to certify causes of deaths in a manner that is useful for epidemiological analysis and public policy.