Research Papers

The acceptability and perceived use of HIV self-testing among technical vocational education and training students in Limpopo province

Background: Human immunodeficiency virus self-testing (HIVST) is a most recent testing modality to reach young people to test for HIV, due to their increased vulnerability of contracting HIV. Limited literature is available describing sexual behaviours and the acceptability of HIVST and its perceived use among students. Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the acceptability and perceived use of HIV selftesting among students in Limpopo province, South Africa. Setting: The study was conducted in Limpopo province, at a technical and vocational education and training (TVET) college. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with a sample of 396 students recruited from a TVET college. Results: The mean age of the students was 22.9 years, with the majority of the students being female (77.2%). The majority (81.4%) of the students sampled reported regular sexual activity. Sixty per cent of the students had used condoms during their last sexual encounter. The acceptability of HIVST was high, with more women showing the willingness to take up HIVST (82.5%). Being sexually active (odds ratio [OR] 1.23; (confidence interval [CI]: 2.14 -6.94; p = 0.000), a number of sexual partners (OR 1.045; CI: 1.98 -10.02; p = 0.000) and condom use during the last sexual encounter (OR 0.62; CI: 3.81 -9.59; p = 0.000) were factors associated with HIVST. Conclusion: The high acceptability of HIV shows a need for innovative demand creation in sexual and reproductive health (SRH) programming.

Dr Sam Mndzebele
Plagiarism is Troubling the Academic World Today and it is a Significant Issue on Campuses Around the World.

Plagiarism is troubling the academic world today and it is a significant issue on campuses around the world. This can sometimes lead to assignments being submitted that are inadequately referenced or, worse still, assignments being submitted that are largely (or entirely) the work of someone else. The purpose of this study was to investigate plagiarism among undergraduate students at a higher education institution in Eswatini. This study investigated the awareness and causes of plagiarism among undergraduate first, second and third year students at various departments at the Institute of Development Management in Eswatini. The general trend in universities and colleges is that there has been an increase in the adoption of rules and practices to increase the awareness of plagiarism.  A qualitative and quantitative research method was used. Data collected sheds light on both on awareness and attitudes toward plagiarism and how plagiarism is addressed on a university and classroom basis.  The study also assessed the incidence of plagiarism among students and the perceived factors responsible for the plagiarism.

Batfobile Tiletsile Pearl Dlamini
An Evaluation of Knowledge and Use of Total Quality Management Tools by Public Legal Services Operations Management: A Case of Blantyre Legal Aid Department

A successful implementation of Total Quality Management (TQM) is one of the ways of improving organisations. However, preliminary evaluation of whether of an organisation would be receptive to TQM before implementation is imperative.

This study, therefore, evaluated whether employees at Blantyre Legal Aid Department (LAD) in Malawi have the knowledge and use of concepts and tools necessary for TQM implementation. In addition, this study also determined other critical factors necessary for TQM implementation in the said organisation.

The study hypothesized that TQM may help Blantyre LAD to deal with the challenges it is currently facing. Therefore, a mixed approach to research was used to find out whether employees at Blantyre LAD have the knowledge and use of TQM philosophy necessary to meet the organisation’s challenges. A random sample frame of 24 out 32 employees was also used in the study to arrive at scientific findings.

The overall findings on the knowledge and use of TQM by employees at Blantyre LAD had a mean score of 1.6 and a standard deviation of 0.1 confirming lack of knowledge and TQM systems at TQM. The study confirmed the existence of critical success factors for the TQM implementation at Blantyre LAD with a mean closer to 3 at a standard deviation of 0.8.  Consequently, the study recommended that all employees at Blantyre LAD be trained in TQM and that critical success factors for TQM implementation should be strengthened thereat.

The implications of the results and recommendations of the study are that employees at Blantyre LAD need the TQM to improve the quality of public service delivery. In addition TQM can be successfully implemented thereat; therefore, the study recommends a step by step introduction and implementation of TQM at Blantyre LAD.

Edith Chimusoro
An Evaluation of Customer Service and the Impact of Efficiency on Namibia’s Logistical Sector: A Study Involving Selected Courier Companies

Customers are important stakeholders in organisations and their satisfaction should be a priority to any company and its management. Customer service and satisfaction have been subjects of great interest to organisations and researchers alike. In recent years, organisations have been compelled to render more services in addition to the offers they provide. The quality of service has become an aspect of customer satisfaction. It has been proven by some researchers that service quality is related to customer expectation and satisfaction. The purpose of this study was to determine the level of Customer Service amongst a selected number of courier companies in Windhoek, Namibia. Simple random sampling was used to select customers from five selected courier companies. Quantitative data were gathered using a self-administered satisfaction level and expectation questionnaire. Purposively sampled managers from the same companies provided qualitative data through interviews involving service providers’ perspectives of customer service.

The study found that customer service has a myriad of meanings to customers. However, these are not always in congruence with those of service providers’ results, yet it is a source of distinctive operational efficiency. Loyalty and repeat business can be enhanced through the relationship between service providers and customers. The findings imply that customer service and good relationships with service providers are two of the most important factors to customers and good levels of customer service are critical to the majority of the customers. Also, to provide total satisfaction to customers, the service sectors need to improve upon the factors that were given as reasons for satisfaction. This study contributes to existing theories by confirming or adding value to the relationships that are involved in customer satisfaction and service quality. It provides results that could be useful to managers in business organisations for strategic planning.

Edith Chimusoro
An Evaluation of the Factors Influencing the Establishment of the Domestic Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Industry in Zambia

This study evaluates the factors that influence the establishment of a domestic pharmaceutical manufacturing industry in Zambia. The study was prompted by empirical evidence signifying a downward trend in the local pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity, which has led to a declining growth of the industry, despite the country’s current positive economic growth of above 5% of Gross Domestic Product. Literature on the pull and push factors looked at the challenges that political, economic, social and technologic factors have on the industry. A critical assessment of the procedures involved in establishing medicine manufacturing, and an analysis of the appropriate marketing strategies employed by firms, provided a framework of the study. The study adopted a quantitative design approach using a questionnaire on a sample of 25 participants with relevant experience in the pharmaceutical sector in evaluating and assessing the various key factors related to the industry.

The findings revealed that local manufacturing of essential medicines and developing domestic plants in Zambia meets with manifold challenges related to internal dimensions of manufacturing. The lack of incentives, adequately trained human resource, capital, market size, infrastructure and regulatory capacity on pharmaceutical standards and partnerships needed to foster innovation and technological transfer that have a direct impact on the growth of the industry. Data from the study has clearly indicated the need to enhance pharmaceutical production and promote its viability through the usage of appropriate marketing strategies. One of the key recommendations made from the study on how the industry can remain viable and improves its performance, is by the Government implementing the provisions of the National Drug Policy of 1999.

The study clearly shows that the development of the industry is feasible, as policies and legal provisions are in place. The market should promote local pharmaceutical production that will enhance increased accessibility of medicines thereby improving the quality of health, contribute to employment creation, reduce poverty levels and improve the country’s overall Gross Domestic Product. 

Edith Chimusoro
An Assessment of the Impact of Total Quality Management Practices at PARK-VIEW Premier Clinical Laboratories

Stiff competition in a tough economic environment was a key driver for Parkview Clinical Laboratories to introduce total quality management (TQM) as an integrated management approach to continuously improve performance of products, processes and services ultimately yielding and surpassing customers’ expectations. This study sought to assess the impact of TQM practices in improving healthcare service delivery at Parkview Clinical Laboratories against the Stepwise Laboratory Improvement Process towards Accreditation (SLIPTA) framework. Other drivers for TQM included but not limited to: increased customer complaints as a result of delayed turnaround times, unreliable service delivery and erroneous laboratory results.

Edith Chimusoru
High Levels of Post-Abortion Complication in a Setting Where Abortion Service Is Not Legalized

Maternal mortality due to abortion complications stands among the three leading causes of maternal death in Botswana where there is a restrictive abortion law. This study aimed at assessing the patterns and determinants of post-abortion complications.

Tadele Melese
Impact of Health System Inputs on Health Outcome: A Multilevel Longitudinal Analysis of Botswana National Antiretroviral Program (2002-2013)

To measure the association between the number of doctors, nurses and hospital beds per 10,000 people and individual HIV-infected patient outcomes in Botswana.

Farahani M
Variation in Attrition at Subnational Level: Review of the Botswana National HIV/AIDS Treatment (Masa) Programme Data (2002–2013)

To evaluate the variation in all‐cause attrition [mortality and loss to follow‐up (LTFU)] among HIV‐infected individuals in Botswana by health district during the rapid and massive scale‐up of the National Treatment Program.

Farahani M.
Trends and Determinants of Survival for Over 200 000 Patients on Antiretroviral Treatment in the Botswana National Program: 2002–2013

To determine the incidence and risk factors of mortality for all HIV-infected patients receiving antiretroviral treatment at public and private healthcare facilities in the Botswana National HIV/AIDS Treatment Programme.

Gabaake K