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Original Research

The Economic and Social Impact of Informal Caregivers at Mulago National Referral Hospital, Kampala, Uganda

Authors:

Mitra Sadigh ,

Post Baccalaureate Premedical Program, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT
About Mitra
BA
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Faith Nawagi,

Nursing School, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda
About Faith
BS
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Majid Sadigh

Western Connecticut Health Network/University of Vermont College of Medicine, Danbury, CT
About Majid
MD
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Abstract

Background

The severe deficit of health care workers in Uganda necessitates hospitalized patients to be cared for by a relative. These informal caregivers constitute a crucial component of patient care. Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda, is one of the nation's national referral hospitals, receiving very sick patients. Although studies have been conducted on challenges facing informal caregivers in the home setting, no study has addressed the caregiver burden in the hospital setting.

Methods

A survey of 100 randomly selected informal caregivers was conducted in Mulago Hospital's internal medicine wards to evaluate informal caregivers' demographics, impact on patient care, and challenges.

Results

Challenges include emotional burdens, lack of sanitation, accommodation, sufficient health workers, finances, and recognition. Recommendations were given to ensure improve informal caregivers' situations.

Conclusions

Despite hardships, informal caregivers recognize the importance of familial presence, thereby setting a new standard for patient care by recreating the comfort of home care in the hospital. Studying the characteristics of these care givers and more fully delineating the sacrifices they make and the challenges they faced provides the basis for a series of recommendations to hospital management aimed both at improved patient care and care of the informal caregiver.

How to Cite: Sadigh, M., Nawagi, F. and Sadigh, M., 2017. The Economic and Social Impact of Informal Caregivers at Mulago National Referral Hospital, Kampala, Uganda. Annals of Global Health, 82(5), pp.866–874. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.aogh.2016.06.005
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Published on 08 Mar 2017.
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