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Challenges HIV/AIDS poses on the nursing workforce in rural health setting in Vhembe district, Limpopo Province, South Africa

DU Ramathuba
M Davhana-Maselesele


The public health sector is burdened by large number of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) who come for treatments. There is no known cure for the disease and moreover the epidemic has a negative impact on the workforce, productivity and services which are provided for the benefit of the public. The purpose of this study was to explore the current human resource situation in nursing and describe the challenges that are faced by nurses in caring for PLWHA in Vhembe district, Limpopo Province South Africa. A qualitative research design which was exploratory, descriptive and contextual was used, with a purposive sample of nurses who provided care in a regional hospital in Vhembe district of Limpopo Province. Data saturation occurred after in-depth interviews with fifteen participants; field notes were also used during data collection. Data were analysed using open coding method according to Tesch’s steps in Creswell. The findings revealed a stressful workforce, accompanied by shortages of human and material resources and overcrowded units. The nurses also indicated that they get very limited support from managers. The effects of all these culminate to a stressed and burnout workforce that is detrimental to health care in the region. Recommendations focused on supporting nurses to cope with caring through provision of work-based support programmes.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, nurses, workforce, challenges.

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print ISSN: 2411-6939