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Johannesburg, South Africa

Cockcroft A.,CIET Trust Botswana | Kunda J.L.,CIET Trust Botswana | Kgakole L.,CIET Trust Botswana | Masisi M.,CIET Trust Botswana | And 4 more authors.
Psychology, Health and Medicine | Year: 2010

Inter-generational sex is an important driver of the AIDS epidemic in Southern Africa, contributing to the high incidence of HIV among young women. We conducted 12 focus group discussions with women aged 15-24 years and 11 with men aged 40-55 years in urban and rural locations in Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland. There was consensus that inter-generational sex is commonplace. The young women were clear they had sex with older men to get money and material goods. In urban sites, they spoke about requirements for a modern lifestyle and to keep up with their friends, but in rural sites they also said they needed money for school fees, food and household goods. Young women used disparaging names for the older men and they were well aware of the risk of HIV from inter-generational sex. They believed older men were more risky than younger men: They were more likely to be infected and it was harder to negotiate use of a condom with them. They were willing to take the risk to get what they wanted; some also had a fatalistic attitude. Older men described sexual motivation and blamed young women for seducing them. They believed there was a higher risk of HIV from younger women, because they have more partners and do not insist on using a condom. But this did not deter them from taking the risk. Older men and young women discount the risks of inter-generational sex against short-term benefits. Isolated efforts to increase risk awareness are unlikely to be effective. Making older men aware they are ridiculed by young women may be a promising approach, combined with interventions that give alternatives to young women and increase their self-worth. © 2010 Taylor & Francis. Source

Cockcroft A.,CIET Trust Botswana | Milne D.,CIET Trust | Oelofsen M.,Institute for Democracy in South Africa IDASA | Karim E.,HLSP Institute | Andersson N.,University Autanoma Of Guerrero
BMC Health Services Research | Year: 2011

Background: In Bangladesh, widespread dissatisfaction with government health services did not improve during the Health and Population Sector Programme (HPSP) reforms from 1998-2003. A 2003 national household survey documented public and health service users' views and experience. Attitudes and behaviour of health workers are central to quality of health services. To investigate whether the views of health workers influenced the reforms, we surveyed local health workers and held evidence-based discussions with local service managers and professional bodies. Methods. Some 1866 government health workers in facilities serving the household survey clusters completed a questionnaire about their views, experience, and problems as workers. Field teams discussed the findings from the household and health workers' surveys with local health service managers in five upazilas (administrative sub-districts) and with the Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) and Bangladesh Nurses Association (BNA). Results: Nearly one half of the health workers (45%) reported difficulties fulfilling their duties, especially doctors, women, and younger workers. They cited inadequate supplies and infrastructure, bad behaviour of patients, and administrative problems. Many, especially doctors (74%), considered they were badly treated as employees. Nearly all said lack of medicines in government facilities was due to inadequate supply, not improved during the HPSP. Two thirds of doctors and nurses complained of bad behaviour of patients. A quarter of respondents thought quality of service had improved as a result of the HPSP. Local service managers and the BMA and BNA accepted patients had negative views and experiences, blaming inadequate resources, high patient loads, and patients' unrealistic expectations. They said doctors and nurses were demotivated by poor working conditions, unfair treatment, and lack of career progression; private and unqualified practitioners sought to please patients instead of giving medically appropriate care. The BMA considered it would be dangerous to attempt to train and register unqualified practitioners. Conclusions: The continuing dissatisfaction of health workers may have undermined the effectiveness of the HPSP. Presenting the views of the public and service users to health managers helped to focus discussions about quality of services. It is important to involve health workers in health services reforms. © 2011 Cockcroft et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Cockcroft A.,CIET Trust Botswana | Usman M.U.,Ministry of Health | Nyamucherera O.F.,CIET Trust | Emori H.,State Planning Commission | And 4 more authors.
Archives of Public Health | Year: 2014

Background: Childhood vaccination rates in Nigeria are among the lowest in the world and this affects morbidity and mortality rates. A 2011 mixed methods study in two states in Nigeria examined coverage of measles vaccination and reasons for not vaccinating children. Methods: A household survey covered a stratified random cluster sample of 180 enumeration areas in Bauchi and Cross River States. Cluster-adjusted bivariate and then multivariate analysis examined associations between measles vaccination and potential determinants among children aged 12-23 months, including household socio-economic status, parental knowledge and attitudes about vaccination, and access to vaccination services. Focus groups of parents in the same sites subsequently discussed the survey findings and gave reasons for non-vaccination. A knowledge to action strategy shared findings with stakeholders, including state government, local governments and communities, to stimulate evidence-based actions to increase vaccination rates. Results: Interviewers collected data on 2,836 children aged 12-23 months in Cross River and 2,421 children in Bauchi. Mothers reported 81.8% of children in Cross River and 42.0% in Bauchi had received measles vaccine. In both states, children were more likely to receive measles vaccine if their mothers thought immunisation worthwhile, if immunisation was discussed in the home, if their mothers had more education, and if they had a birth certificate. In Bauchi, maternal awareness about immunization, mothers' involvement in deciding about immunization, and fathers' education increased the chances of vaccination. In Cross River, children from communities with a government immunisation facility were more likely to have received measles vaccine. Focus groups revealed lack of knowledge and negative attitudes about vaccination, and complaints about having to pay for vaccination. Health planners in both states used the findings to support efforts to increase vaccination rates. Conclusion: Measles vaccination remains sub-optimal, particularly in Bauchi. Efforts to counter negative perceptions about vaccination and to ensure vaccinations are actually provided free may help to increase vaccination rates. Parents need to be made aware that vaccination should be free, including for children without a birth certificate, and vaccination could be an opportunity for issuing birth certificates. The study provides pointers for state level planning to increase vaccination rates. © 2014 Cockcroft et al.; licensee BioMed Central. Source

Andersson N.,Autonomous University of Guerrero | Cockcroft A.,CIET Trust Botswana | Thabane L.,McMaster University | Marokoane N.,CIET Trust | And 2 more authors.
Trials | Year: 2013

Background: Most HIV prevention strategies assume beneficiaries can act on their prevention decisions. But some people are unable to do so. They are 'choice-disabled'. Economic and educational interventions can reduce sexual violence, but there is less evidence that they can reduce HIV. There is little research on complex interventions in HIV prevention, yet all countries in southern Africa implement combination prevention programmes. Methods/Design: The primary objective is to reduce HIV infections among women aged 15 to 29 years. Secondary objectives are reduction in gender violence and improvement in HIV-related knowledge, attitudes and practices among youth aged 15 to 29 years. A random sample of 77 census enumeration areas in three countries (Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland) was allocated randomly to three interventions, alone or in combination, in a factorial design stratified by country, HIV rates (above or below average for country), and urban/rural location. A baseline survey of youth aged 15 to 29 years provided cluster specific rates of HIV. All clusters continue existing prevention efforts and have a baseline and follow-up survey. Cluster is the unit of allocation, intervention and analysis, using generalised estimating equations, on an intention-to-treat basis. One intervention discusses evidence about choice disability with local HIV prevention services, to help them to serve the choice-disabled. Another discusses an eight-episode audio-docudrama with community groups, of all ages and both sexes, to generate endogenous strategies to reduce gender violence and develop an enabling environment. A third supports groups of women aged 18 to 25 years to build self-esteem and life skills and to set up small enterprises to generate income. A survey in all clusters after 3 years will measure outcomes, with interviewers unaware of group assignment of the clusters. The primary outcome is HIV infection in women aged 15 to 29 years. Secondary outcomes in youth aged 15 to 29 years are gender violence and protective knowledge, attitudes, subjective norms, intention to change, agency, discussion of prevention and practices related to HIV and gender violence. Trial registration: Trial registration number: ISRCTN28557578. © 2013 Andersson et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Eteng M.,CIET Trust | Mitchell S.,McGill University | Garba L.,CIET Trust | Ana O.,Government of Cross River State | And 3 more authors.
Malaria Journal | Year: 2014

Background: Poor people bear a disproportionate burden of malaria and prevention measures may not reach them well. A study carried out to examine the socio-economic factors associated with ownership and use of treated bed nets in Cross River and Bauchi States of Nigeria took place soon after campaigns to distribute treated bed nets. Methods. A cross-sectional household survey about childhood illnesses among mothers of children less than four years of age and focus group discussions in 90 communities in each of the two states asked about household ownership of treated bed nets and their use for children under four years old. Bivariate and multivariate analyses examined associations between socio-economic and other variables and these outcomes in each state. Results: Some 72% of 7,685 households in Cross River and 87% of 5,535 households in Bauchi State had at least one treated bed net. In Cross River, urban households were more likely to possess bed nets, as were less-poor households (enough food in the last week), those with a male head, and those from communities with a formal health facility. In Bauchi, less-poor households and those with a more educated head were more likely to possess nets. In households with nets, only about half of children under four years old always slept under a net: 54% of 11,267 in Cross River and 57% of 11,277 in Bauchi. Factors associated with use of nets for young children in Cross River were less-poor households, fewer young children in the household, more education of the father, antenatal care of the mother, and younger age of the child, while in Bauchi the factors were a mother with more education and antenatal care, and younger age of the child. Some focus groups complained of distribution difficulties, and many described misconceptions about adverse effects of nets as an important reason for not using them. Conclusion: Despite a recent campaign to distribute treated bed nets, disadvantaged households were less likely to possess them and to use them for young children. Efforts are needed to reach these households and to dispel fears about dangers of using treated nets. © 2014 Eteng et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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