Evaluation of communication strategies used in encouraging male partners' involvement in elimination of mother to child transmission(EMTCT) of HIV Virus: The case of selected clinics in Nkeyema Rural District

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Bwalya, Jovan
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The main objective of this study was to evaluate communication strategies used to encourage male partner involvement in EMTCT. The specific objectives that were targeted are as follows: To find out the knowledge levels among clients regarding EMTCT. To examine the effectiveness of messages used to promote male partner involvement in EMTCT. To evaluate the target audience of EMTCT as a way of promoting male partner participation in EMTCT. To assess communication media used to encourage male partners to be fully involved in EMTCT. Phones are not used for communication with about 41% of the participants not use them at all for communication about PMTCT issues. Most of the people agreed that the message of abstinence when one partner is positive is effective. 43% strongly agreed that Condom use during pregnancy when a partner is positive is effective. A good 64% strongly agreed that HIV testing and counselling for both partner is workable. 45% of the respondents strong agreed that men should also accompany their partners during child delivery. 54% of the respondents strongly agree that men should be directly concerned with breast feeding HIV partner. The conclusion drawn from a non-parametric test that was carried out was that almost all categorical questions do not occur with equal probabilities. In lay man’s language this means that the responses of the questions had trends. The trends are confirmed in the figures 7-10. This was in exception of the questions; q 22 “the audience is usually segmented according to sex” and q25 iii “how much do you make us of radio in receiving or sending information on issues to do with PMTCT”. The responses to these two questions are equally distributed ie participants didn’t show inclination to either strongly agrees or disagrees. The research findings revealed the following. In order to realise the intended change of attitude of male partners toward their pregnant partners, church leader, traditional leaders, teachers and headmen should be brought more aboard to contribute toward this goal. Even in the midst of what has been mentioned, health workers still appealed for the improvement of mass media technology in the local clinics. vi There is as well need to make public pronouncements and policies through campaigns to encourage male partners get involved in EMTCT. This in a way would act as a continuous mass sensitization and awareness regarding male involvement. In this vein, it is well understood that when you sensitize the leaders like chiefs and indunas you sensitise the whole village. This is because these figures are well respected and so if they become the custodians of information the rest of the masses would find it easier to follow. This sensitization can be extended to school going pupils because Nkeyema is as well know for high rate of early pregnancies among pupils. The above health workers’ perception were based on study questions that concerned; the presence of communication working groups, whether male involvement is necessary, mechanism of sharing information on the topic at hand, how communication is made easy, the use of mass media, challenges in reaching out to male partners and whether they ought to be present during child delivery.
Virus Disease in pregnancy , AIDS(Disease)-Prevention , AIDS(Disease)-Transmission