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HIV and/or AIDS-related deaths and modifiable risk factors: A descriptive study of medical admissions at Oshakati Intermediate Hospital in Northern Namibia

N.K. Mgori, Robert Mash

African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine; Vol 7, No 1 (2015), 7 pages. doi: 10.4102/phcfm.v7i1.883

Submitted: 13 May 2015
Published:  25 September 2015


Background: High rates of HIV infection have decreased life expectancy in many African countries. Regardless of worldwide efforts to escalate treatment, care and prevention strategies, the number of deaths due to AIDS-related disorders is still high. Local healthcare workers suspect that there are modifiable factors in the care of HIV and/or AIDS patients which can be identified and improved.

Aim: To describe the HIV and/or AIDS-related causes of adult mortality and identify modifiable factors amongst patients admitted to Oshakati Intermediate Hospital, northern Namibia.

Methods: Data was extracted retrospectively and coded using the modified CoDe protocol for AIDS. Modifiable factors relating to the patient, health system or clinical care were identified using a standardised data collection tool.

Results: A total of 177 HIV and/or AIDS patients were identified, 94 (53.1%) were male and 120 (68%) had a CD4 count of less than 200 cells/mL. The common HIV-related causes of death were tuberculosis (25.9%), renal failure (15.8%), Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (11.3%), cryptococcal meningitis (9%), HIV wasting syndrome (7.9%) and AIDS-defining malignancy (7.9%). The analysis revealed 281 modifiable factors; patient-related factors were the most common (153 [54.4%]), followed by health system factors (97 [34.5%]) and healthcare personnel factors (31 [11%]).

Conclusion: Our findings have highlighted the challenges in overall HIV and/or AIDS inpatient care and surrounding primary care facilities. The identification of specific modifiable factors can be used to reduce mortality by providing training as well as rational monitoring, planning and resource allocation.

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Author affiliations

N.K. Mgori, Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care, Stellenbosch University, South Africa and Oshakati Intermediate Hospital, Namibia
Robert Mash, Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care, Stellenbosch University, South Africa



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