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Hospital Bed Occupancy and HIV/AIDS in three Major Public Hospitals of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Keywords: HIV/AIDS , hospitals , bed occupancy , Addis Ababa

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Background: In countries like Ethiopia where the spread of HIV infection is extensive, health services are faced with an increased demand for care. The most obvious reflection of this increased demand is through patient load, longer bed occupancy perhaps to the exclusion of patients with other ailments. Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe the bed occupancy rate and the average length of stay of HIV/AIDS inpatients of three major public hospitals. Methods: A Retrospective Cross-sectional study was conducted in three major hospitals of Addis Ababa namely Zewditu Memorial Hospital, Tikure Anbessa Hospital and Saint Paul’s Hospital from February to March 2004. Results: Of the total 453 sampled inpatients, 293 (65 %) were HIV positives. Over half (55.0%) were Males. The most affected age group was between 24 and 56 years. The majority (85.8%) were from Addis Ababa and over half (57.7%) was married. Housewives constituted about a quarter (26.3%) of all the admitted cases. The most common co-morbidities resulted in admission to the medical wards among the HIV-positive cases were Tuberculosis (73.0%) and jirovicii pneumonia (70.3%), and their occurrence was significantly higher among HIV+ than their counter parts (p = 0.001). Although numbers of patients admitted in Tikur Anbesa hospital was more than Saint Paul’s and Zewditu Memorial hospitals (ZMH), the proportion of HIV positive cases admitted to ZMH however was higher (49.0%) than Tikur Anbessa (14.0%) and Saint Paul’s hospitals (18.0%). Likewise the number of inpatient days was also higher in ZMH (n=7765) than the other hospitals. The bed occupancy rate was however, higher in ZMH (53.0%) than Tikur Anbessa (12.0%) and Saint Paul’s (12.0%) hospitals. Conclusion: One of the most obvious consequences of HIV/AIDS patients are the increased occupancy of hospitals beds suggesting that only 81.1 % of the beds are for all other afflictions in the hospitals. It appears that there is a lot of concern that patients with HIV are competing with the non-HIV infected patients in a resource limited areas. Home based care with community involvement and greater use made of existing community resources might be a response to the limitations of curative hospital-based care and treatment needs of many HIV/AIDS patients.

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