A BASELINE STUDY ON HIV/AIDS, MENSTRUAL HYGIENE AND HEALTH SERVICE DELIVERY: COMPARING TOLE (SOUTH WEST REGION, CAMEROON) AND GUJUNGU (JIGAWA STATE, NIGERIA)
By: Elong Carine Nyadjroh, Forkom Kehbila Kunyugah, Ayuk Bertille Obenetah, Salisu Ibrahim, Yahaya Yusuf, Zainab Umar, Isa Jafaru Garba, Maryam Usman Akawu, Izawaqa Mu`azu, Ahmed Abubakar | Department of Development Studies | Community and Public Health
Health service provision integrates the provision, effectiveness, and efficient use of health services vis-a-vis the health needs of a population. Developing countries such as Nigeria and Cameroon with diverse ethnic and cultural groups face enormous challenges on one or more of these health service provision facets. These challenges are translated into poor health outcomes for several health indicators (such as HIV/AIDS, and hygiene and sanitation) especially in rural communities such as Tole (South West Region, Cameroon) and Gujungu (Jigawa State, Nigeria). This study aimed at exploring the baseline indicators for health service provision especially indicators for: availability of health services, HIV/AIDS and menstrual hygiene in Tole and Gujungu. Specifically, to assess the extent of health service provision in Tole and Gujungu; to explore youths’ knowledge, perception, believes and attitudes on HIV/AIDS and menstrual hygiene in Tole and Gujungu; and lastly to propose an intervention plan for health service provision vis-à-vis HIV/AIDS and Menstrual Hygiene in Tole and Gujungu. A descriptive study was used where in-depth interviews, group discussions, field observations and survey questionnaire were used to collect data. A sample size of 364 each from both Tole and Gujungu was selected from a population of 5000 and 4000 respectively. The collected data was analyzed using SPSS version 20 and results presented as percentages and charts. The results revealed that community members of both Tole and Gujungu are aware of the health services provided by their clinics but just 59% of Tole and 71% in Gujungu of this populations do not use these services. 67.82% of the population of both communities have good knowledge on menstrual hygiene management and appropriate materials to use during menstruation but only about 46% in Gujungu and 79% in Tole of these populations use the appropriate materials. Also, both communities are aware of HIV/AIDS and have good knowledge on its spread, treatment and method of prevention 45% in Tole of people still practice unsafe sex.43.74% in both communities consider it a spiritual thing and patients are still stigmatized. We therefore recommend that communities should be encouraged to use hospital services through sensitization and the use of community health workers who will bring these services to household and discuss difficulties faced by the community. Also the use of appropriate sanitary materials should be encouraged, menstrual hygiene management should be taught in schools and reusable sanitary pads should be encouraged in areas where disposable sanitary pads are not affordable.
Key words: HIV/AIDS, Menstrual Hygiene, Stigmatization, Service delivery, health service utilization.