Booming fish business in Kalokol linked to increased reported cases of STIs and HIV at Kalokol Health Centre


Booming fish business in Kalokol linked to increased reported cases of STIs and HIV at Kalokol Health Centre

Evidence from the Kalokol end-month reports and the subsequent interview with Kalokol facility nurse in charge Mr. Smuel Losuru show the increase in STIs and HIV cases at health centre. In response, the BCC theatre group based at the division has stepped up Community outreaches around the shores of Lake Turkana targeting fishermen and fish mongers with message on being faithful and correct and consistent condom use. These messages are relayed through drama, poems, songs & dance as well as group discussions.

The overall objective of the community outreaches is to promote, develop and sustain positive behaviors among the fishing community around Kalokol Division. In this case we emphasize fidelity among married couples at the same time encouraging protected sex for those who cannot stick to one partner. We are also promoting VCT services and working hand in hand with the VCT mobile wing at the health facility. The groups also do distribute male condoms during the outreaches.

The BCC theatre group popularly known as Banjuka Grouphas been rehearsing on the items for the last two months and embarked on community outreaches in January 2008. This was after pre-testing their items in the community and incorporating comments/suggestions from both members of the target group and experts. Currently the group has twelve active members majority who are ladies. The group performs only once a week (four outreaches in month) and we pay them lunch and transport allowance of ksh. 200/= per person per outreach.

In January, the group performed at Lake Shore (Impressor), Kapua, Maendeleo and Market and reached a total of 650 people. Roughly about 165 people were mobilized per outreach.

                        Mobilization at the shores of Lake Turkana

 

Banjuka theatre group in action with a skit at Impressor on the shores of Lake Turkana

IMPACT

  • The theatrical items show people’s real life situations and the mirror image of their attitudes towards HIV/AIDS. This is likely to make people realize their myths and misconceptions and correct them by adopting healthy behaviors.
  • Increased numbers at the static VCT centre as reflected in the January monthly report
  • Increased number of condoms distributed (3,900 condoms distributed in January alone).
  • The improved access to VCT services also shows stigma reduction and a narrowing fear among the people.

WAYFORWARD

In order to change attitudes that constitute people’s behavior, we need knowledge. As concerns Sexuality and AIDS, behavior change can be effective only when such educative items are performed repeatedly and the members involved supported. The Banjuka group members are called upon to continue with the same spirit of voluntary services to their community. In future, if the budget allows we need to form similar groups at other sites.

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Posted on March 3, 2012, in Categorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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