Experiences of Nurses in the Management of Patients Presenting With Kala-Azar at Amudat Hospital, Amudat District

Introduction: Visceral leishmaniasis (VL)/Kala-azar continues to be one of the neglected tropical diseases (NTD) of public health threat. The experiences of nurses in the management of the increasing cases of VL infection remains not well understood. The overarching aim for this study was to understand the nurses’ experiences in management of Kala-azar as an effort to design strategies to alleviate gaps and ensure quality healthcare to patients at Amudat hospital. Methods: We conducted a phenomenological study amongst nurses. We collected nurses’ experiences in terms of; motivators, attitudes, skills, knowledge, and policies in the management of Kala-azar patients through in-depth interviews. Data was analysed thematically using Atlas ti, version 8. Major themes of the findings were recorded. Results: Nurses’ exhibited good clinical practices, positive motivation, used updated case management guidelines, had continuous professional development, received medical supplies, exhibited professionalism and teamwork, and there was Community surveillance for VL. However, they noticed Knowledge gap among patients, inadequate infrastructure, high staff Workload, delayed payments, and little close monitoring. Conclusion: The experience and training of nurses is critical in the management of VL. Nurses have considerable knowledge and skills in the management of VL at Amudat Hospital. Nurses face challenges in management of Kala-azar patients including finances, human resource gap, infrastructure, and patients’ knowledge gap about Kala-azar infection. Recommendations: Nurses’ experiences show potential for elimination of the Kala-azar infection in Amudat. We recommend the Uganda’s Ministry of Health to accelerate measures to eliminate VL such as; community sensitization about Kala-azar, training traditional herbalists on case definition for Kala-azar infection, construct large Kala-azar ward, recruit more staff, and improve the payment schedules for nurses at Amudat hospital.