Visiting and caring for sick people in the communities, Patient Home Based Care is the ‘mother’ of all the programmes at MHBCP, because this was the main reason MHBC came into existence. The programme focuses on the following activities:
- Home visits – to check patient’s medication; encourage patients to adhere to the medication; follow-ups and counselling; referrals to relevant stakeholders; to give patients emotional, physical and spiritual support.
- HCT (HIV Counselling and Testing) – door-to-door campaigns, with information on HIV and TB; testing for HIV, and TB screening; referrals to primary health centres for those who have tested HIV positive, or have signs and symptoms of TB.
- I-ACT (Integrated Access to Care and Treatment)
– facilitating open and closed support groups in the community and health centres.
Visits to HBC patients are not restricted to patients who are sick from HIV/AIDS but include patients with other health-related problems. Over a period of time, the shift in the burden of disease and the escalation of HIV infections means that the HBC programme predominantly supports and assists people with HIV and HIV related infections. HBC volunteers are required to visit their patients at least twice a week. In many instances, volunteers visit homes more frequently and provide additional support and assistance to children and their families. Feedback on patients is provided in weekly meetings and priority patients are identified for visits by a nurse each week. On Thursday, a nurse visits the critically ill patients. A vehicle is also available to take patients to a clinic or hospital if necessary.