An assessment of HIV&AIDS prevention and management programmes in the Northern region of Ghana: a case study of the Tamale Metropolis and the Yendi Municipality.

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Acquired immune-deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) remains a serious problem especially in Africa and Ghana since no cure to the disease has been discovered yet. The best known alternative in the response to the epidemic is prevention as well as management. The study sought to assess the HIV&AIDS prevention and management programmes in the Tamale Metropolis and the Yendi Municipality both in the Northern region of Ghana. The specific objectives were to; assess the awareness, knowledge and behaviour related to HIV&AIDS transmission, prevention and treatment; examine the accessibility of Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) for HIV, Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) and Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (PMTCT) services and facilities; assess the extent of HIV&AIDS related stigma; examine the main challenges confronting HIV&AIDS prevention and management programmes, and make recommendations to inform policy. The research design was a case study. The total sample size was 209 and a combination of sampling methods including purposive, cluster, and the simple random sampling were employed. Data was collected from both primary and secondary sources. The primary data was obtained through a field survey while the secondary data was sourced from relevant institutions. Results of the study reveal that 99.0 percent of respondents are aware about the disease. Knowledge on sexual transmission of the disease was 98.0 percent. However, knowledge on other modes of infection such as mother to child transmission was just 14.0 percent. Seventy-seven percent of respondents were aware of counselling and testing for HIV but only 20 percent had actually tested. The study also revealed that the use of condoms even among people with non regular sexual partners was as low as 56.0 percent. Findings concerning stigma was mixed. While 78.0 percent of field survey respondents indicated they would eat from the same plate with an HIV infected person, evidence from the Yendi Hospital was that 60.0 percent of HIV diagnosed cases would not have their HIV status disclosed to their spouses or partners. Other findings include inadequate funds, personnel, and logistics for programmes. The formulation of comprehensive Information, Education and Communication (IE&C) has been recommended to address specific issues of knowledge and behaviour such as mother to child transmission of HIV and condom use. On the reduction of stigma against People Living with HIV&AIDS (PLWHA), high level political and religious advocacy, extensive education, and personal commitment were recommended.
A Thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Development Policy and Planning