Original Research

Challenges influencing nurse-initiated management of antiretroviral therapy training and implementation in Ngaka Modiri Molema district, North West province

Sheillah H. Mboweni, Lufuno Makhado
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 25 | a1174 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v25i0.1174 | © 2020 Sheillah H. Mboweni, Lufuno Makhado | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 May 2018 | Published: 16 March 2020

About the author(s)

Sheillah H. Mboweni, Aurum institute, Johannesburg, South Africa
Lufuno Makhado, Department of Public Health, School of Health Science, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa

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Background: The increasing number of people testing human immunodeficiency virus positive and who demand antiretroviral therapy (ART) prompted the Department of Health to adopt World Health Organization’s task shifting where professional nurses (PNs) initiate ART rather than doctors. This resulted in decentralisation of services to primary healthcare (PHC), generating a need to capacitate PNs on nurse-initiated-management of ART (NIMART). The impact of NIMART was assessed and even though there was an increased number of patients on ART, the quality of care is of serious concern.

Aim: The aim of this study was to explore and describe the challenges influencing NIMART training and implementation amongst PNs and programme managers.

Setting: The study was conducted from the PHC facilities, in the rural districts of the North West province.

Methods: An exploratory programme evaluation and contextual research design was used in the study. Purposive sampling was used. Focus group discussion (n = 28) and individual interviews were used to collect data. Data was analysed using ATLAS.ti software.

Results: The results revealed two themes: inadequacy in NIMART training and the healthcare system challenges that influence NIMART training and implementation. Theme 1 included among others the lack of standardised curriculum and model or conceptual framework to strengthen NIMART training. And theme 2 included patient and district healthcare structural system.

Conclusion: There a need to improve NIMART training and implementation through the standardisation of NIMART curriculum, introduction of pre-service NIMART training in institutions of higher learning, addressing staff shortages and negative attitude of PNs providing ART.


HIV programme; NIMART implementation; NIMART training; PHC facilities; professional nurses


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