Situational analysis of communication of HIV and Aids information to persons with visual impairment

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Chintende, Nsangwe Grace
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The University of Zambia
Despite and increase in health promotion and Education programmes on HIV and AIDS, there is still lack of information on HIV and AIDS and communication for persons with visual impairment. The underlying factors that create information communication gaps have not been explored in detail in Zambia. It is therefore important, that this study on communication of HIV and AIDS information to persons with visual impairment at Kang‟onga Production Centre in Ndola district is explored. Methods A qualitative case study design was used to help in understanding perspectives of people involved. The study was conducted in the rural area of Ndola at Kang‟onga Production Centre for the disabled. Sample size of the study comprised two focus group discussions, one for males and the other one for females, in order to allow full participation. Each focus discussion group comprised twelve participants. The study also included eight in-depth interviews with persons with visual impairments and five key informants. Participants included men and women with visual impairment who were sampled using maximum variation. Data was collected using In-depth interviews and focus group discussions by the use of semi-structured interview guides were used for the purpose of collecting data from different kinds of informants who were sampled using expert sampling. Data was analysed thematically after coding using the NVIVO 8 software. Ethical Clearance was sought from Excellency in Research Ethics and Science (ERES) and with reference number 2014-May-030. Results The study found that most visually impaired persons lacked knowledge on the cause, transmission and treatment and had misconceptions on HIV and AIDS. Research also revealed that health promoters and persons working with the visually impaired do not have specific HIV and AIDS information programs for visually impaired in Zambia. Study further revealed that ways such as Media, information education communication (IEC) and Health education were ways through which the visually impaired access HIV and AIDS information though not available to them. Further, many challenges such as discrimination/stigma, employment, funding iii and poverty were revealed which the visually impaired face in accessing HIV and AIDS information. Furthermore, research pointed out the need for integration of the visually impaired in HIV and AIDS programs, increasing funding for economic empowerment and having health promotion were means of improving communication on HIV and AIDS information among visually impaired persons. Conclusion This study showed that the visually impaired persons in Zambia are not catered for in the dissemination of HIV/AIDS information. Further, available information is not user friendly as it is in unreadable formats increasing the potential for misinformation and limiting access even more. This calls for innovations in HIV information health promotion response to target these groups. Key words: Situational Analysis, Communication, HIV and AIDS, Information, Visual Impairment
Aids Disease-Zambia , Aids(Disease)-prevention , Safe sex in Aids prevention--Zambia , Sex instruction for people with disabilities , People with visual disabilities--Zambia