BMC research notes 2017 04 0410(1) 150 doi 10.1186/s13104-017-2473-4
Despite the increases in health promotion and educational programs on HIV and AIDS, lack of information and communication on HIV and AIDS for the visually impaired persons continues. The underlying factors that create the information and communication gaps have not been fully explored in Zambia. It is therefore important that, this situational analysis on HIV and AIDS information dissemination to persons with visual impairments at Kang’onga Production Centre in Ndola was conducted. The study commenced in December 2014 to May 2015.
A qualitative case study design was employed. The study used two focus group discussions with males and females. Each group comprised twelve participants. Eight in-depth interviews involving the visually impaired persons and five key informants working with visually impaired persons were conducted. Data was analysed thematically using NVIVO 8 software. Ethical clearance was sought from Excellency in Research Ethics and Science. Reference Number 2014-May-030.
It was established that most visually impaired people lacked knowledge on the cause, transmission and treatment of HIV and AIDS resulting in misconceptions. It was revealed that health promoters and people working with the visually impaired did not have specific HIV and AIDS information programs in Zambia. Further, it was discovered that the media, information education communication and health education were channels through which the visually impaired accessed HIV and AIDS information. Discrimination, stigma, lack of employment opportunities, funding and poverty were among the many challenges identified which the visually impaired persons faced in accessing HIV and AIDS information. Integration of the visually impaired in HIV and AIDS programs would increase funding for economic empowerment and health promotions in order to improve communication on HIV and AIDS information. The study showed that, the visually impaired persons in Zambia are not catered for in the dissemination of HIV and AIDS information. Available information is not user-friendly because it is in unreadable formats thereby increasing the potential for misinformation and limitations to their access. This calls for innovations in the communication on HIV and AIDS information health promotion to the target groups.