Potential of a local community initiative in HIV preventive strategies and care: The case of "Nyoluoro" in Usigu division, Siaya district
Ouko, Gunilla A
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This study examined the potential of a local community initiative, Nyoluoro, in HIV/AIDS prevention and care in Usigu Division of Siaya District. It was designed to investigate whether the groups are in any way involved in disseminating health information to the community and to document the groups' perception of AIDS and anti- AIDS efforts. The study also sought to find out whether women, who constituted the majority in the groups, could provide home-care to AIDS patients, as well as to ascertain whether the groups could extend their financial resources from the rotations to provide support to AIDS widows and orphans. The study, which was done between the periods of October 1997 and February 1998, enlisted a total of 100 respondents. In order to have a comprehensive study, the respondents were stratified into groups which included 91 respondents currently involved in the groups, 6 who had never joined the groups and 3 that had opted out of the groups. There were thirteen Nyoluoro groups that facilitated the study; seven of them were registered while six were unregistered. Data were collected by means of structured interviews, focus group discussions and key informants. Data analysis involved the use of descriptive methods and presentation was in the form of frequencies and percentages. The study came to the conclusion that one, Nyoluoro groups have positive perceptions of AIDS and anti-AIDS efforts and also have potential to disseminate health information. two, women, being the majority in the groups, are capable of providing home care to AIDS patients. Three, the groups have the capability to extend their financial resources to provide financial support to AIDS widows and orphans. The study also revealed some limitations that might prohibit successful involvement of the groups in implementing AIDS preventive efforts. These include lack of adequate information on AIDS issues and fear of infection in the course of providing care. The study, thus, recommends that there is need for training the group members on AIDS related issues, through seminars and workshops, to enable them provide accurate and adequate information on AIDS to the local community. It also recommends that simple medical kits consisting of gloves, disinfectants and other simple equipment, should be freely given to care-providers, to protect themselves against the possibility of infection in the process of providing care. Finally, many other local initiatives other than nyoluoro groups existing at the local level, should be educated on the fact that they are potential resource persons in the fight against AIDS in their communities.