Communication strategies used in HIV and AIDS prevention by Mungwi District AIDS task force(D.A.T.F): a case study of Mungwi rural
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This research which was undertaken in Mungwi aimed at assessing the communication strategies which the Mungwi District AIDS Task Force has been using to combat the spread of HIV and AIDS in the district. The title of the research is, communication strategies used in HIV and AIDS prevention by the Mungwi District AIDS Task Force (DATF): A Case Study of Mungwi rural. The researcher intended to determine the extent to which Mungwi DATF communication on HIV and AIDS has impacted on people’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviour with regard to HIV and AIDS prevention and if possible provide further recommendations. It is evident enough that the problem of HIV and AIDS has not spared anyone and as such it requires collective efforts to reduce the infection rates to zero. Although both recent reports by UNAIDS and Zambia country report on HIV and AIDS of 2010 indicates signs of success in the fight against the further progression of the HIV and AIDS epidemic as noticed in the reduction in the new HIV infections globally, there is still more work needed to be done because the present formal known HIV prevalence rate estimated at 14.3% is a high figure for Zambia (National AIDS Strategic Framework, 2011-2015, Towards Improving the quality of life of the Zambian people, 2010, p.1). In order to obtain data the researcher used both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Several other methods were used such as the audience survey, staff survey, focus group interviews, in depth interviews, purposive sampling, cluster sampling, quota sampling and participant observation. The software package for social sciences was used to analyse data and triangulation was used. The results are that there are differences in terms of knowledge on HIV and AIDS between those who live in Mungwi central and those in far distant places. Due to the vastness of the district coupled with little financial resources, Mungwi DATF fails to cover the whole area in its sensitisation pragrammes. It is for this reason that many people in Mungwi rural do not know much about DATF and have not been involved in its programmes. On the other hand, Mungwi DATF staff indicated that they have sensitised some areas on HIV and AIDS through radio programmes, meetings, workshops, events such as world AIDS day commemoration, posters, brochures, pamphlets and popular theatre. Even if this may be the case, much of the information on HIV and AIDS was said to come from other sources like palliative care, health personnel who visit communities providing antenatal services to the pregnant women and during child health week vaccination campaigns. Some of it is tapped from ZNBC radios 1 and 2. The researcher recommends that Mungwi DATF staff should visit and sensitise people on HIV and AIDS. Further recommendations are that Mungwi DATF should make more use of the radio, train more people who in turn would train others, print HIV and AIDS information in the local language on many utensils, involve both traditional and church leadership, produce DVDs on HIV and AIDS and use the internet.