Saturday, August 20, 2011


Anozie Uchenna
By This paper provides good information to planners and all stakeholders (National agency for the control of AIDS, National AIDS and STDs control programme, ministry of health, Nongovernmental and community based organisations) involved in HIV/AIDS peer education amongst female sex workers, this work was conducted in Anambra state, Nigeria, on the 23rd October 2010 to 24th January 2011 with the support from family health international and society for women and AIDS in Africa, Nigeria, to ascertain the need assessment for peer education amongst female sex workers in Anambra state Nigeria.
Training of FSWs Peer educators in a brothel, Ekwulobia, Anambra state, Nigeria.

According to the 2008 National HIV Sero-prevalence, Nigeria has a HIV prevalence of 4.6% and the female sex workers fall under the vulnerable groups. There is no recent data on the HIV prevalence rate of FSW in the country but the figures from the national AIDS and STDs control programme (Federal ministry of Health 1997) shows a prevalence rate of 36%.
 So far, these are various intervention methods put in place to protect the FSWs from getting infected; health education and free HIV counselling, screening and treatment. Peer education and IEC materials are widely used. The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), NGOs such as; Family Health international, PEPFAR, and society for women and AIDS in Africa and society for family health have been carrying out these intervention activities.
In carrying out this project we encountered difficulties ranging from the fact that; there were no clear criteria for choosing the female sex workers to participate in the peer education exercise, the low literacy level of the female sex workers was challenging, technical resources and funding of the project was not adequate, the time allotted for the project was small and project sustainability was difficult because of financial resource and lack of continuous supervision.
This study is necessary to evaluate peer education amongst female sex workers, to ascertain the knowledge and skills of female sex workers on safe sex practices and STI/HIV protection and to see possible ways of sustaining peer education amongst female sex workers.
Those that participated in the peer education programme were all commercial sex workers: 37 peer educators and 111 female sex workers and results showed that, the knowledge and skills of FSWs in Nigeria is poor and needs to be reinforced. We were able to ascertain certain facts through the use of questionnaires; FSWs that did not know their current HIV status was 80%, FSWs that had never gone for HIV screening was 50%, FSWs that use alcohol and hard drugs 90%, FSWs that lacked basic knowledge of STI and HIV was 30% and FSWs that had STIs previously was 70% (treated and untreated).
Training of FSWs Peer educators at Army Barracks, Onitsha, Anambra state, Nigeria.

Clear criteria for selection of peer educators should be developed by organisers of such programmes. This will help to assess the peer educators talents and knowledge.
More time should be allotted for such a programme to promote a long lasting behavioural changes and more learning and training time should be allotted to the peer educators                            
Peer education training required more intensified commitment because of low educational status of the peer educators; also this programme requires adequate funding and meaningful incentives for peer educators considering the natures of their work and how they value time
An organised evaluation research should be carried out to assess the effectiveness of the peer education programme amongst the female sex workers.
This study defines in detail, peer education and theories. Literatures were reviewed as regard the intervention for FSW to reduce the incidence of HIV amongst them. It also shows the experiences, limitations and recommendations for effective implementation of HIV/AIDS/STI peer education programmes amongst female sex workers.

 Anozie Uchenna training the FSWs in Army barracks Onitsha, Anambra state Nigeria.

Anozie Uchenna from Nigeria.
I am an intern (young professional internship programme) with the West African health organisation, Burkina Faso and I currently serve in Centre for ambulatory treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS Hospital FAAN Dakar, Senegal.
I have worked as a field supervisor and as a project officer for society for women and AIDS in Africa, Nigeria.  I have also worked as a volunteer counselling and HIV testing officer for family health international Nigeria. I hold a bachelor's degree in microbiology (Nnamdi Azikiwe university awka, Nigeria, class of 2004)I speak English, French and other native languages in Nigeria.I have a distinguished and extraordinary ability in community health promotions and health campaigns.  I am an innovator capable of creating new ideas and solutions to meet complex needs and challenges in the public health sector.


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