A Support Programme for Caregivers of Children with Heart Disease in Rural Namibia


The majority of children suffering from heart disease in Namibia receive treatment as outpatients, with their caregivers taking responsibility for their continuing care. To provide the care required by these children, the caregiver has to remain vigilant. Many of these children live in rural areas and their caregivers may have only a limited educational background, as well as limited financial resources, as they depend on subsistence agriculture for a living. The development of the support programme discussed in this article originated from the results of a qualitative, exploratory, phenomenological study that addressed the issue of how these caregivers managed this responsibility. The findings of this study revealed that the caregivers generally had poor coping experiences. Subsequently, these findings formed the basis for the proposal about a support programme for the rural caregivers of children with heart disease in Namibia. As part of the study, interventions for home-based health care were developed, implemented and evaluated in order to facilitate the caregiver’s coping with the demands of home care. The findings of an outcomes evaluation indicated that the caregivers’ knowledge of the child’s condition, as well as the skills for providing care at home and the information about community-based resources that could provide them with support to cope, increased. If the programme were to be extended to other families in similar contexts, the programme interventions could make a difference in terms of their coping with the demands of care. This paper describes the implementation process involved in a home-based health care programme intervention of the study, and the subsequent outcomes of the programme evaluation.

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Amakali, K. and Small, L. (2014) A Support Programme for Caregivers of Children with Heart Disease in Rural Namibia. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 2, 97-104. doi: 10.4236/jss.2014.211014.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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