Disabled persons and HIV/ AIDS prevention: A case study of deaf and leprosy persons in Nigeria

  • EE Enwereji
  • KO Enwereji
Keywords: Leprosy, deafness, HIV/AIDS, family planning, Nigeria


Objective (s): (i) To investigate factors and conditions that influence HIV/AIDS prevention among leprosy and deaf persons in leprosy settlements in Nigerian; (ii) to examine the extent to which the Government includes leprosy and deaf persons in HIV prevention programmes; (iii) To identify immediate needs of leprosy and deaf patients in settlements (iv) to determine possible areas for improving services so as to explore potential solutions Methods: Total sample of 227 inmates and 34 Health Care Workers were studied in three purposively selected settlements. Two intervention concepts, participatory reservation approach (PRA) and planned action (PLA) were utilized in the study. The concepts enabled researchers to examine factors that influenced provision of HIV/AIDS prevention programmes to inmates in settlements. Data collection instruments were questionnaire and focus group discussions for inmates and interview guides for Health Workers. Data were analysed qualitatively and quantitatively with the help of Stat Pac Gold package. Results: Findings showed that there were no reproductive health and and HIV prevention programmes in the settlements. There was lack of Governments\' commitment to fund health programmes and to train Health Workers, as well as rejection, isolation, discrimination and discouragement of HIV/AIDS prevention programmes in settlements. There was poor knowledge of mode of transmission of HIV/AIDS among inmates. About 59 (53.6%) of inmates in Abia, and 60 (51.3%) in Oyo were not interested in voluntary counselling and sex education. Findings showed that inmates in the leprosy settlements were at risk of unprotected sex. About 99 (43.6%) in Oyo and 88 (38.8%) in Abia State, especially those who were single cohabited with opposite sexes to have babies in settlements (p = 003). Conclusion: Number of inmates that had babies in settlements justifies providing sex education, reproductive health and HIV/AIDS prevention programmes. This will assist in reducing HIV/AIDS prevalence among disabled persons in Nigeria.

Keywords: Leprosy, deafness, HIV/AIDS, family planning, Nigeria

East African Journal of Public Health Vol. 5 (2) 2008: pp. 55-61

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eISSN: 0856-8960