oa Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection - Low rate of reporting of confirmed AIDS-related deaths using BI-1663 forms by private medical practitioners in the Mafikeng, North West Province : original research
The aim of the study was to investigate the experiences and perceptions of medical practitioners about the implementation of the current death notification form (BI-1663) in cases of confirmed AIDS-related deaths. The study focused on reporting patterns by private medical practitioners of the deceased's underlying causes of death in BI-1663, together with reasons advanced for the reporting patterns. Using self-administered questionnaires, data were collected from 31 medical practitioners in the Mafikeng area of the North West Province. The findings revealed that the majority of medical practitioners either did not disclose, did omit or mis-report information that HIV / AIDS-related disease was the underlying cause of death in BI-1663 during notification of confirmed AIDS-related death. Reasons advanced for the phenomenon were fears of unauthorised breach of the deceased's confidential information by unintended parties that often led to invalidation of the deceased's insurance and funeral benefits, as well as stigmatisation and social discrimination of the relatives of the deceased. The study recommends that third parties (informants) should be relieved of the duties of conveying the deceased's confidential medical information to the state during death notification processes. Medical practitioners themselves should submit part 2 of BI-1663 that contains the deceased's confidential information directly to public health officials. The study also recommends that the Department of Health should provide formal training to the medical practitioners with respect to death certification to enable them to certify causes of death in a manner that is useful for epidemiological analysis and public policy.
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