The role of the Africa Brotherhood Church in the control of Hiv/aids in central division of Machakos county
Mbati, Jeniffer N
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In Kenya efforts to manage the aftermath of HIVIAIDS involve multiple partners drawn from the Government, FBOs, NGOs, Private Sector and International Development Partners. In this collaborative approach the Church has an important role to play because it commands a large following and stability that places it in a pivotal role in the fight against HIVIAIDS. This study was anchored on the important role played by the ABC Church in the control of HIVIAIDS in Central Division of Machakos County. The study was guided by social exchange theory as postulated by George Homans. The study used a descriptive research design with both probability and non-probability techniques where the data was collected using key informant interviews, household survey, archival research, secondary research and a focus group discussion. The methods of data analysis used were descriptive statistics and qualitative summaries. The study found out that the ABC Church was affected by HIVIAIDS through loss of members, rising number of widows and widowers, diversion of Church resources to manage HIVIAIDs, decrease in tithes and loss of Church leaders due to deaths. Programmes put in place were counseling and testing, support of orphaned and vulnerable children, and capacity building of widowed. From this study several conclusions were made. First there was a general awareness about HIV/AIDS and its effects. That the ABC Church had realized the effects of HIVIAIDS on the local community and it had directed efforts towards management of the disease and that there was a high level of awareness on HIVIAIDS and its major causes. Poverty was the main factor that led people to engage in risky behavior. Finally the Church has made important contributions in the fight against HIV IAIDS by reaching to the infected, the affected and those at risk. The study recommends that support programs for OVC and widows need to be up scaled and delivered in a sustainable way especially economic empowerment. The Church also needs to sensitize its members on the importance of voluntary testing and counselling and strictly adhering to good diet and medication for the sick. This study recommends further research on the effectiveness of orphan and women empowerment programmes as well as a study of the effectiveness of the existing HIVIAIDS policy to establish whether it was enabling or stifling involvement of partners such as the-Church in the control of HIVIAIDS.