Purpose - The purpose of the paper is to show that community involvement is a successful way of overcoming certain barriers to the successful management of the current tuberculosis epidemic, namely delayed presentation and non-completion of treatment. Volunteers are an important resource for engaging with the community. This research, conducted in an urban TB treatment centre in Nepal, seeks to investigate the motivations of TB volunteers, and how these motivations can be increased to involve volunteers, and the community, in fulfilling their maximum potential in delivering successful TB treatment programmes.
Design/methodology/approach - Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 26 TB volunteers, followed by volunteer discussion groups. Topics covered included: detailed accounts of the volunteers' many and varied roles; motivations - how they initially became involved and why they continue to be involved; incentives for volunteering; problems they have encountered; family and friends' attitudes to their volunteering; and the future of TB volunteering.
Findings - The findings show that the TB volunteers are involved in many important roles. Volunteers initially became involved, having been asked or informed about the programme by area committee members, staff or friends. Most were also involved in other voluntary work.
Originality/value - This paper gives recommendations for volunteer programmes in developing countries including: sustained communication and contact between volunteers and the organisation; volunteer programmes based in a centre with an established community focus; flexibility of time commitment; regular recruitment drives for volunteers from different generations and status levels; and the use of training as a possible incentive for volunteering.
Thomas, C.; Newell, J.N.; Baral, S.C.; Laxmi Byanjankar. The contribution of volunteers to a successful community-orientated tuberculosis treatment centre in an urban setting in Nepal: A qualitative assessment of volunteers’ roles and motivations. Journal of Health Organization and Management (2007) 21 (6) 554-574. [DOI: 10.1108/14777260710834346]