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HIV/AIDS Orphans and their Caregivers in Arusha, Tanzania

Lenz, Hilary Harding (2011) HIV/AIDS Orphans and their Caregivers in Arusha, Tanzania. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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HIV/AIDS has been a looming public health threat for decades. With an estimated 15 million AIDS-related deaths in Africa since the emergence of the disease, over 14 million orphans have been left in its wake. Generations of parents lost to AIDS have created a vacuum of care for the orphans they leave behind. The burden of care is placed on ill-equipped aging relatives, older siblings, or caregivers in local orphanages. Evidence from the literature indicated that orphans are plagued with emotional trauma following parental loss and suffer worse health outcomes without emotional, social, and financial support. Data collected from questionnaires administered in Arusha, Tanzania indicated that orphans lack many resources paramount to their healthy growth, and that caregivers desire to learn skills to help them become better orphanage leaders. Without the means to generate income and skills in child psychology, HIV/AIDS education, and first aid, orphanage caregivers cannot provide the best support for the orphans in their care. This has public health significance because without proper socialization, these orphans may become trapped in the cycle of poverty, leading to health problems including HIV infection, and a lack of economic productivity in adulthood. Understanding the facets of caregivers' and orphans' lives in sub-Saharan Africa through the literature, questionnaire data, and interviews exposed the need for continued caregiver training, the implications for further research and intervention creation, and the limitations faced. In this applied research and theory intervention, a pilot program was designed for caregivers in Arusha to learn various requested skills through training sessions over the course of one year. The program's goal is to increase knowledge and skills in child psychology, HIV/AIDS education, first aid, small business creation and management, and training so caregivers can better care for and teach their orphans. The proposed training program has four intended outcomes for the participants: first, to have a workable knowledge of the skills taught; second, to train their peers in the skills they have learned; third, to improve their care of orphans by implementing the skills they have learned; and fourth, to create a social network for the caregivers to provide an emotional and intellectual support system. From these outcomes, caregiver and orphan emotional and physical health statuses will improve and a sustainable social network will foster continued skill building and support.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Lenz, Hilary
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTerry, Martha Annmaterry@pitt.eduMATERRY
Committee MemberKeane, Christophercrkcity@pitt.eduCRKCITY
Committee MemberDanielson, MichelleDanielsonM@edc.pitt.eduEPIDMED
Date: 29 June 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 29 March 2011
Approval Date: 29 June 2011
Submission Date: 6 April 2011
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: counseling; psychological trauma; training intervention; stigma; sub-Saharan Africa; education; orphanage
Other ID:, etd-04062011-123452
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:34
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:38


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