The ICHC (Integrated Community-Based Home Care) service was started in 1998 to care for the increasing numbers of HIV positive persons. It is provided by palliative care trained professional nurses and carers from the community. The service functions within the network provided by the clinics and the provincial hospital allowing the patient’s access to all the care available.
The IPU and all the hospice services are available to these patients when needed.
Recently the service has been used to access and support patients commencing ARV treatment.
Patients live in a wide range of housing, some moving from place to place as the need arises. They often share their homes with many people and this is a challenge for the staff to maintain privacy and confidentiality.
The carers are able to access the patients wherever they are in the community as they walk from home to home and can find patients in the informal settlements which are inaccessible by car.
Many of the patients on this service are in need of social assistance.
Our Social Workers are invaluable in addressing the complexity of the situation facing persons infected and affected by this disease.