Coping Strategies of Caregivers of HIV/AIDS Orphans in Ward 15 Bikita District, Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe

Zvinavashe Mathilda, Obert Mukombwe, Mukona Doreen, Haruzivishe Clara


Introduction: The purpose of this study was to investigate the coping strategies of caregivers of HIV/AIDS orphans.

Methods: A descriptive study design was used with a convenience sample of 30 orphan caregivers in Bikita province ward 15, Masvingo, Zimbabwe. Permission to carry out the study was obtained from the respective ethical review boards. Informed consent was obtained from all the participants. Data was collected using face to face interviews following a structured questionnaire.

Results: The main findings were that 73.3% of the respondents were elderly caregivers and that there were more widows 20 (66%) than married caregivers, 8 (27%). Being old meant that these caregivers needed to be taken care of themselves. They needed additional information on caring for the young nowadays which is different to what they experienced. About 24 (80%) caregivers had financial problems yet all the caregivers needs require money.

Conclusions: Growing of vegetables, maize and selling any surplus was the main coping strategy of orphan caregivers. The main coping strategy is working of the orphan caregivers; however there is need of providing vocational skills and income generating projects by the authorities in the community.

Full Text:



AVERT. Children and HIV/AIDS 2014 [updated 20/02/2016]. Available from:

(WHO) WHO. World AIDS Day: Business Unusual: Time to end the AIDS epidemic 2014 [updated 20/02/2016]. Available from:

Bikita Home Based Care Statistics. Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and child welfare: DAAC; 2003.

Freeman M, Nkomo N. Guardianship of orphans and vulnerable children. A survey of current and prospective South African caregivers. AIDS Care. 2006;18:302-10.

Balew G, Worku N, Tilaye T, Huruy K, Fetene T. Assesment of household burden of orphaning and coping strategies by guardians and families with orphans and vulnerable children in Hossana Town, SNNPR. Ethiop Med J. 2010;48:219-28.

Wangui EE. Livelihood strategies and nutritional status of grandparent caregivers of AIDS orphans in Nyando District, Kenya. Qual Health Res. 2009;19:1702-15.

Kuo C, Operario D. Health of adults caring for orphaned children in an HIV-endemic community in South Africa. AIDS Care. 2011;23:1128-35.

SAFAIDS. Our Children Our Future : Zimbabwean good Practices responding to needs of orphans and vulnerable children 2010. Available from:

Kuo C, Fitzgerald J, Operario D, Casale M. Social Support Disparities for Caregivers of Aids-Orphaned Children in South Africa. J Community Psychol. 2012;40:631-44.

Polit DF, Beck CT. Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2008.

Polit DF, Beck CT. Nursing research: Principles and methods: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2004.

Karimli L, Ssewamala FM, Ismayilova L. Extended families and perceived caregiver support to AIDS orphans in Rakai district of Uganda. Child Youth Serv Rev. 2012;34:1351-8.

Parker EM, Short SE. Grandmother Co-Residence and School Enrollment in sub-Saharan Africa. J Fam Issues. 2009;30:813-36.

Thupayagale-Tshweneagae G, Wright SD, Hoffmann WA. Mental health challenges of the lived experiences of adolescents orphaned by HIV and AIDS in South Africa. Journal of AIDS and HIV Research. 2010;2:008-16.

Children IHAASt. Good Practice Guide on Family Centred HIV Programming 2012. Available from:

UNICEF/UNAIDS. Towards an AIDS-Free Generation – Children and AIDS: Sixth Stocktaking Report, 2013. 2013.

Organization WH. Impact of AIDS on older people in Africa: Zimbabwe case study. 2002.

MaKaDZaNGE K, Dolamo B. Care of HIV-positive orphans by elderly people in Swaziland. Continuing Medical Education. 2011;29.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Nova Journal of Medical and Biological Sciences ISSN 2292-793X (Online) Published by Nova Pub inc.

Nova Explore Publications
is a member of CrossRef.
DOI Prefix: 10.20286