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Indian Journal of Community Medicine

Participatory training program on prevention of HIV/AIDS, with agent exposure, among Anganwadi workers for training young village women

Author(s): Sudhaker Christopher, Jain Anice George

Vol. 32, No. 3 (2007-07 - 2007-09)

LETTER TO EDITOR

Year : 2007 | Volume : 32 | Issue : 3 | Page : 230-231

Participatory training program on prevention of HIV/AIDS, with agent exposure, among Anganwadi workers for training young village women

Sudhaker Christopher, Jain Anice George
Manipal College of Nursing, MAHE, Manipal, India
Date of Submission 28-Jul-2006
Date of Acceptance 10-Aug-2007

Correspondence Address:
Sudhaker Christopher
Manipal College of Nursing, MAHE, Manipal
India

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
How to cite this article:
Sudhaker C, Jain AG. Participatory training program on prevention of HIV/AIDS, with agent exposure, among Anganwadi workers for training young village women. Indian J Community Med 2007;32:230-1
How to cite this URL:
Sudhaker C, Jain AG. Participatory training program on prevention of HIV/AIDS, with agent exposure, among Anganwadi workers for training young village women. Indian J Community Med [serial online] 2007 [cited 2007 Nov 30];32:230-1. Available from: http://www.ijcm.org.in/text.asp?2007/32/3/230/36842

Sir,

We planned a study to find the effectiveness of the participatory training program provided by the Anganwadi workers and the effectiveness of agent exposure program in Udupi district during the months from February to April 2005. An evaluative survey approach in two phases was adopted for the study. Eleven Anganwadi workers were selected in the study and control groups randomly. Pre-test was conducted in both the groups. The experimental group of Anganwadi workers participated in a 2-day participatory training program on prevention of HIV/ AIDS conducted by experts at the institute campus. Training included learning modules, group discussion, role play, lecture demonstration, practice teaching and videos. Six randomly selected participants from this group interacted with seropositive persons (agents) during the training. In Phase II, the Anganwadi workers (both control and experimental group) selected 25 young village women from their village (convenience sampling). The village women were subjected to a pre-test. In the experimental group of village, the Anganwadi workers used learning module and educational techniques like group discussion, role play, case studies with simple stories as taught to them during participatory training. However, there were a few dropouts and incomplete post-test forms. So the final sample comprised of 456 young village women.

Majority of the Anganwadi workers from experimental and control group belonged to the age group of 26-30 years and had high school education (84% and 73% respectively); majority of the participants from both groups (75% and 82% respectively) reported health-care workers as their main source of information. Majority of the village young women (n = 456) from experimental and control group (56% and 58% respectively) belonged to the age group of 20-25years, and 51% and 59% respectively had high school education. As many as 67% of the participants from both groups reported TV as their main source of information.

Computed pre- and post-test 't' values of the knowledge of the experimental group of Anganwadi workers were t (11) = 3.56, attitude t (11) = 5.24; and for the difference between experimental and control group knowledge, the 't' values were t (11) = 26.01, attitude t (11)= 12.64. The pre- and post-test 't' values of the knowledge of village young women experimental group were t (227) = 18.37, attitude t (227) = 16.03; and for the difference between experimental and control group knowledge, the 't' values were t (454) = 35.99 and attitude t (454) = 25.54. All values are significant at 0.05 level.

Educating community regarding people living with HIV/ AIDS will help decrease stigma and strong negative feelings towards them. In the study, the effect of agent exposure was qualitatively analyzed using focus group interview of selected members of the experimental group of Anganwadi workers who were exposed to agents. Result showed that before exposure they had negative social response towards seropositive people, like fear to mingle, HIV is life threatening, not to touch these people, not to mix with them, HIV infection is caused by immoral behavior and the patients are personally responsible for their disease. However, after exposure to the intervention, they expressed favorable social response - seropositive persons are harmless, they can live like other normal persons, there is no problem in mixing with them, "will support their rights," "interested in understanding the reality," no immoral behavior, "they should get respect" and they felt their previous opinion was wrong.

It is demonstrated that exposure to intensive promotional intervention, even for a brief period, can significantly raise awareness; and providing knowledge to young people alone is not sufficient to induce behavioral change among most individuals. Interventions have to be developed based on individual psycho-social and cognitive approaches, like community education by their own people, addressing their issues; this increases interaction between community and persons with HIV infection.[1] This will also help decrease stigma and treating HIV/AIDS. Agent exposure helps reduce behavior like fear, avoidance and otherness and also to understand the right of infected people, notably the need to educate others in the community to treat the seropositive person with respect.

Difficulties in accessing health information and services are the biggest challenges in rural India. Training the Anganwadi workers as peer health educators may bridge the gap, by providing young women with information in a language they understand; this will empower village young women to take responsibility for their and their friends' health. Participatory training by Anganwadi workers may be more effective than the other methods of educational program delivery in terms of cost of mass training and acceptance by the rural community.

References

1. Kalichman S, Hospers H. Efficacy of behavioural -skills enhancement HIV risk-reduction interventions in community settings. AIDS 1997;11:S191-9.

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