The impact of ART scale-up on health workers: Evidence from two South African districts
This study explores the effects of antiretroviral treatment (ART) programmes on health-care human resources in South Africa. The study included two parts, a questionnaire-based survey of 269 health workers published earlier and a qualitative study of 21 purposively selected health practitioners involved in ART scale up. Contrary to what has been presented in literature, our survey showed that health workers in ART programmes experienced higher levels of morale, lower stress, lower sickness absenteeism and higher levels of job satisfaction. This paper uses qualitative data to provide insights into the working environment of ART workers and examines some possible explanations for our survey findings. The key factors that contribute to the different perception of working environment by ART workers identified in this study include bringing hope to patients, delaying deaths, acquiring training and the ability to better manage and monitor the disease.