Exploring the potential for Integrated Medicine approaches to improve the health and wellbeing of HIV/AIDS patients in rural Tanzania

Project: Other projectOther internal award

Project Details

Description

It is estimated that there are around 40 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the African region. Previous research has demonstrated that current health service provision is inequitable and does not align with the disease burden of groups excluded as a result of limited access to services. Furthermore, limited access and extreme side-effects of medications means that adherence to antiretrovirals, for example, is low. Integrated medicine is a synergistic approach which combines conventional biomedical approaches with traditional, complementary and alternative medicine (TCAM). TCAM is used widely in the African region, especially amongst those who are economically disadvantaged and have limited or no access to health care. The use of TCAM is known to be particularly common for patients living with HIV/AIDS and evidence suggests that these interventions may improve their quality of life. The potential to provide sustainable and resilient health care which works alongside current treatment protocols has been recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) regional strategy which promotes the integration of TCAM into health systems. However, there is a need to evaluate these approaches robustly.

The aims of the project are:
a. To explore the potential to build collaborations for further research into the use of integrated medicine with HIV/AIDS patients in Tanzania and health-related outcomes.
b. To consider whether there is merit in pursuing the evaluation of integrated approaches to HIV/AIDS health care.

Funding helped finance a visit to the African Institute of Integrated Medicine, a non-governmental organisation and charitable trust set up in 2017 which serves the government hospitals and clinics in the locality and in remote rural regions. The visit also included 10 whole days of primary health care clinic/hospital visits observing their current practice treating HIV/AIDS patients.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date22/08/1930/09/19