The effectiveness of peer education on employee wellness and HIV risk reduction in large and medium-scale workplaces in Kenya
Mbugua, Philip Waweru
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This study examined the effectiveness of Peer Education on Employee Wellness and HIV Risk Reduction in Large and Medium-scale Workplaces in Kenya. It was designed to understand and document the scope and process of peer education on HIV / AIDS and employee wellness programs within public and private sector workplaces as well as identify the strengths, weaknesses and challenges of peer education within the workplace. The study also established the extent to which Peer Education is successful in influencing behavior change and HIV risk reduction among employees as well as analyzed structures and innovative activities by different workplaces to manage, support and sustain peer education. The study was done between the periods of February and April 2011. It enlisted a total of 73 respondents from 7 companies in Nairobi, Kenya, 4, with peer education program and 3 without peer education program, A total of 7 key informants, one from each company were interviewed and one focus group discussion was held with one representative from each of the seven workplaces. Data were collected using structured interviews, focus group discussions and key informant interviews. Quantitative data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and presented in tables of frequencies and percentages, Qualitative data was organized, summarized and presented verbatim quotes and selected comments. The study revealed that peer education is effective on employee wellness and HIV risk reduction in large and medium scale workplaces. Respondents from companies with peer education program reported high levels of HI V & AIDS knowledge and the positive attitudes towards people living with HIV & AIDS and general health wellness knowledge compared to those without. The study also found that there lacks peer education standards for workplaces and therefore the implementation among companies is not uniform. Challenges facing the program include among others attrition rate, lack of time to carry out the activities and selection of incentives. In addition, integration of peer education with other program activities was reported in an effort to prevent HIV infections and provide care and support to PLHA as well as promote the general wellbeing of staff. This study thus recommends the adoption of peer education programs by all workplaces and standardization of the program for uniformity. Further research is needed on the cost effectiveness of running integrated services to the overall profitability of a company.