MPhil study projects

The experiences of adolescents living with HIV in accessing HIV and Aids services at Katete Boma clinic, Zambia

Student: Meyan Kachenga

Country: Zambia

The research aimed to identify the hurdles encountered by adolescents (aged 10-19) living with HIV in accessing treatment and care at Katete Boma clinic in Zambia. It examined the clinical staff’s perspectives on factors influencing adolescent access to HIV medication and care services.

Using a mixed-methods approach with a convergent parallel design, data was collected from adolescents as well as clinical staff. Adolescents completed a self-administered survey, while clinical staff underwent interviews.

Key findings revealed that 47,1% of adolescents faced challenges due to distance, with 76,5% travelling 2 to 3 km to the clinic. Adolescents noted that staff often seemed too preoccupied to listen during their reviews and lacked empathy. Correspondingly, clinical staff suggested encouraging adolescents to engage more with medical personnel to discuss pertinent issues.

Clinical staff highlighted challenges adolescents face with pill burden due to multiple tablets in paediatric formulations.

The recommendations included strengthening the direct service delivery model, particularly for adolescents affected by distance, through enhanced training for field workers and community-based volunteers.