Okiriamu et al
Greener Journal of Medical Sciences Vol. 3 (6), pp. 190-202, August 2013.
Manuscript Number: 031813529
Factors Influencing Utilization of Voluntary counseling and Testing Services among Fishermen at Dunga, Usoma and Asat Beaches in Kisumu District, Kenya
1Chrisantus Festo Okiriamu,2Rosebella Onyango,
3Wycliffe H. Odiwuor, *4Enose M. W. Simatwa
1School of Public Health and Community Development, Maseno University.
2School of Public Health and Community Development, Maseno University.
3Department of Educational Psychology, Maseno University.
4Department of Educational Management and Foundations, Maseno University.
1Email:umiariko @ yahoo. com
*Corresponding Author’s Email: simatwae @ yahoo. com
The number of fishermen in Lake Victoria (Kenya) has increased gradually over the last 20 years. In the last decade, fishing communities in many developing countries have suffered from Human–Immune-Deficiency-Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDs). The prevalence rates of HIV and AIDS is five to ten times higher in the Lake region than those in the general population. Vulnerability of fishing communities to HIV and AIDS is widely overlooked. Because they are neglected, they are unable to cope with the impact of HIV and AIDS. Many countries use Voluntary Counselling and Testing as an important prevention and intervention tool. The available Voluntary Counselling and Testing services in Kenya is not optimally utilized in the general population but information about its use was largely lacking for the fishing sector. The broad objective of this study was to identify factors that influence utilization of Voluntary Counselling and Testing services among fishermen at Dunga, Usoma and Asat beaches in Kisumu District. Purposive sampling was used to select three landing beaches with much fishing activity. The study population comprised of 520 registered fishermen at the Beach Management Unit from the three landing beaches of Dunga, Usoma and Asat. The results showed 200(81. 63%) of the fishermen were aware of Voluntary Counselling and Testing services, while 32 (13.06%) utilized them. The reasons for using Voluntary Counselling and Testing were stated as planning for the future 144(58.8%), planning for marriage 112 (45.7%) and protecting the child 75(30.6%). Socio-demographic factors (age, sex, income, level of education) did not make a significant difference in utilization of Voluntary Counselling and Testing, but higher utilization 111(88.3%) was noted in couples living together with their sexual partners and when there was a religious affiliation 203(79.7%). This study confirmed that high awareness does not necessarily mean high uptake and utilization of Voluntary Counselling and Testing services. The study provides greater insights into the socio-demographic and socio-cultural factors that could be used to enhance utilization of Voluntary Counselling and Testing services in Kisumu District and other districts around Lake Victoria.
Keywords: Factors, Utilization, Voluntary Counselling, Testing Services, Fishermen, Dunga, Usoma, Asat Beaches, Kisumu District, Kenya.
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