Evaluating the impact of behaviour change communication for HIV/AIDS by Youth Alive Zambia among the youths
Kabuba, Ireen Shambuluma
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The main objective of the study was to assess the impact of Behaviour Change Communication for HIV/AIDS which promotes behaviour and attitude change among the Youth at Youth Alive Zambia.According to the UNAIDS report (2002) at the end of 2000 over 36 million people worldwide were living with HIV/AIDS, two thirds of them in Sub-Sahara Africa. In Zambia over the last few years, the previously largely "silent epidemic" of HIV has shifted to a visible pandemic of AIDS.The study was carried out with Youth Alive Zambia (YAZ), a service oriented organisation formed by the Youths, for the youths. The goal of the organisation is to contribute to the reduction of HIV/AIDS among the young people by creating a healthy state of mind, body, spirit and environment through integrated programmes. The purpose of the attachment was to investigate how YAZ is communicating its messages to promote behaviour and attitude change among the youths.The data was collected through questionnaires, direct observations, document analysis and in-depth interviews with key personnel working with YAZ. Discussions were also conducted with key donors and partners of YAZ who included Churches Health Association of Zambia (CHAZ), Catholic Commission for Justice and Development (CCJD) Christian Churches Associations of Zambia (CCAZ) as well as Youth group leaders in Mtendere, Kaunda Square, Northmead and Matero. A questionnaire was administered to 72 youths who included those in school and those out of school in areas were YAZ is operating. Both qualitative and quantitative data was used to analysis the problem. The results revealed a number of important things. There is still a number of people who have no idea of how HIV the virus is transmitted.Youths trained under YAZ have come to appreciate the values of the organisation on abstinence. The media was recognised to be one of the best ways in which HIV can be communicated to the people, especially the electronic media since most people have access to them. The youths have also come to appreciate community based interventions on HIV/AIDS. This is one way of ensuring that every one in the community participated in HIV/AIDS related activities.The Behavioural Change Programme is the main thrust of YAZ activities in that it promotes good behaviour but not overlooking the fact that behaviour is not easy to change and that not everyone needs change.The study recommends that the organisation needs more funds to step up its activities. There is need for the organisation to come up wWh local fundroising ventures than being dependant on donor funding. More programmes on television and other radio stations be aired as the media has proved to be very effective in channelling messages.