Challenges of nurses in a primary health care setting regarding implementation of integrated management of childhood illnesses
Maleshane, Motlalepule Molemoeng Yvonne
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Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI) is a strategy that was developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to reduce the mortality and morbidity rate of children younger than 5 years and to improve the quality of life of these children. The reduction of child mortality and morbidity is one of the Millennium Developmental Goals (MDGs) as sub-Saharan Africa has a high child mortality and morbidity prevalence. The IMCI strategy has three components namely case management, the health system and the household and community component. This strategy was implemented internationally, including South Africa, where it is implemented within Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities. The implementation of the IMCI strategy was introduced to the PHC environment of South Africa and aims to enhance the equity, accessibility, affordability and availability of health care to all South African citizens, with the focus in this study on the child younger than 5 years. The North West province started training the professional nurses and implemented IMCI in 1998. The Dr. Kenneth Kaunda district (one of the districts in North West Province) and with specific focus on the Matlosana sub-district identified challenges in the implementation of the IMCI strategy by professional nurses. Challenges such as a lack of trained staff, the short time frame available for consultation amidst an already overburdened clinic and the physical infrastructure of the PHC facilities are such examples. The main aim of this research was to explore and gain insight and understanding in the challenges professional nurses working in PHC facilities face regarding the implementation of the IMCI strategy. A qualitative research design was used to conduct this study on daily work-life experiences of the professional nurses. Individual, semi-structured interviews were used as the method of data collection. The main question asked was: “What are the challenges faced by professional nurses in PHC facilities regarding the implementation of the IMCI strategy?” Data saturation was reached after 18 professional nurses were interviewed (N=18). Digitally voice recorded interviews were transcribed and content analysis was conducted. The findings of this research suggest that the professional nurses in the PHC facilities indeed experienced challenges regarding IMCI implementation. The main themes that emerged were challenges regarding the organisation and service delivery; challenges specific to the implementation of the IMCI strategy and also challenges external to the clinic that impacted directly on the IMCI strategy implementation. The findings were discussed with literature integration. From the research results and conclusions, the researcher compiled recommendations for nursing education, nursing research, and community health practice.
- Health Sciences