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REVERSE COMMUNICATION OF HIV/ AIDS RELATED ISSUES FROM ADOLESCENTS TO ADULTS RENU GOLWALKAR (DEPT. OF SOCIAL WORK, VISVA BHARATI UNIVERSITY, SHANTINIKETAN, INDIA). Introduction. Discussion. Adolescents withhold a lot of knowledge when they are communicating with adults.

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REVERSE COMMUNICATION OF HIV/ AIDS RELATED ISSUES FROM ADOLESCENTS TO ADULTS

RENU GOLWALKAR

(DEPT. OF SOCIAL WORK, VISVA BHARATI UNIVERSITY, SHANTINIKETAN, INDIA)

Introduction

Discussion

  • Adolescents withhold a lot of knowledge when
  • they are communicating with adults.
  • Adolescent girls who have attended personality
  • development programs, orientation programs,
  • refresher courses, excursion tours and non
  • formal education were more willing to share
  • information with their married female relatives.
  • It is difficult to get married women to attend SRH
  • kind of education programs, due to cultural and
  • social restraints. But they remain interested to
  • know more.
  • 85% Sexual and Reproductive Health educated
  • girls informed being raped by their husbands on
  • the first night of marriage.
  • Knowledge gained is not translating into practice
  • and many SRH educated girls are unable to
  • discuss these issues with their husbands.
  • In rural India, traditionally the adult women of the family give Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) related information to the adolescent girls.
  • This study looked at the communication patterns among adolescent girls who have attended a formal Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) education program (including HIV/ AIDS).
  • This study also tries to see if there is any REVERSE COMMUNICATION from Sexual and Reproductive Health SRH educated adolescent girls to their adult married female relatives on these issues, especially HIV/ AIDS

Picture 1- A class room of study population

Methodology

  • Study Area and Population
  • Villages in Loonkaransar block, District
  • Bikaner (Thar desert), Rajasthan, India.
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health educated
  • adolescent girls- number 75.
  • These adolescent girls are often either
  • school drop-outs or they have never been
  • to the school.
  • Adult married female relatives of the SRH
  • educated adolescent girls –number 130
  • Intervention
  • A 5 day residential structured Sexual and
  • Reproductive Health education program is
  • being run for the adolescent girls in these
  • villages since January 2005 by URMUL
  • Setu- a local voluntary agency.
  • Topics covered are:
  • changes during adolescence, family
  • planning, HIV/ AIDS, child survival, safe
  • motherhood, reproductive tract infections
  • balanced diet and hygiene.
  • Sampling Technique: Cluster sampling
  • Data Collection:Focussed Group Discussions and In-depth Interviews

Recommendations

  • Designing training modules and training methodology, which enables the adolescents (both boys and girls) to practice what they’ve learnt and enables them to negotiate their Reproductive Rights with others.
  • Programs to focus on effective communications with the adults in the family and community.
  • Making the adolescent education program more holistic by introducing strategies to make adolescents not only aware about reproductive health related issues but also enhancing their self confidence, self image and building leadership qualities.
  • Continued involvement of adolescents in the program (refresher courses) rather than one time training.
  • Designing strategies for adult women and men, wherein they can get all the information at their door steps and simultaneously working towards empowering them to come together for meaningful interactions.
  • Legislative and legal backing for the reproductive and sexual health education program (incl. HIV/ AIDS)

Picture 2-REVERSE COMMUNICATION OF HIV/ AIDS RELATED CONTENT.

Results

  • 71% Sexual and Reproductive Health
  • educated adolescent girls displayed REVERSE
  • COMMUNICATION.
  • Reverse Communication Content Distribution
  • 72% of Sexual and Reproductive Health
  • educated girls who displayed reverse
  • communication, shared information about HIV/
  • AIDS with their adult married female relatives.
  • 74% of SRH educated girls who displayed
  • reverse communication, shared information
  • regarding Reproductive Tract Infections.
  • 65% of adult married female relatives who
  • confirmed Reverse Communication, were
  • aware of HIV/ AIDS.
  • Source of HIV/ AIDS related information among Adult Married Female Relatives
  • 76% adult married female relatives informed
  • that they got the information through the
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health educated
  • adolescent girls from their families.
  • Other sources of information include
  • Community Health Worker, and village Health
  • centre
  • Reverse Communication of HIV/ AIDS Topics
  • 63% adolescent girls shared information on
  • “What is HIV/ AIDS’’
  • 50% talked about bursting Myths
  • 42% shared information on the Rights
  • of People living with HIV/ AIDS

Picture 3- Percentage sources of information amongst married adult women. None of these women mentioned media or husband as source.

Quotes from the field

“If the grown ups don’t listen to us, thinking that they know everything and we are kids and know nothing, then it is their problem. They will die… not us.”

(Sunita, SRH edu. girl, age 15yr.)

“Nothing will change if you give all the information to only us (girls). Involve boys too, after all they are the ones who are stubborn.”

(Shanti, SRH edu. girl, age 17yr.)

“Of what use is the knowledge which our daughters are giving us now? When we needed it, nobody told us anything ‘correctly’. Now when we are past our youth, what will we do with it. We wish that our daughters use this knowledge and they should not have a life like us.”

(Imarti Devi, mother, age 40 yr.)

“It is convenient to ask our girls any questions any time than to think of traveling 40 Km. to the health centre. She also keeps my query a secret ”

(Jhabu Devi, married female relative, age 30 yr.)

Acknowledgement

.

Picture 4- A Focussed Group Discussion in progress

1. Prof G C Khan ,

(Head Of the Department), Dept. of Social Work

Visva Bharati University, Shantiniketan, West Bengal, INDIA.

2. URMUL SETU, Loonkaransar, Bikaner, Rajasthan, INDIA.