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The Role of ICTs in Health Communication in Slums in Kenya

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Maseno Universi, P.O. Box 333, Maseno Kenya, KENYA
  • 2 The Technical University of Kenya, Next to City Square Post Office, P. O. Box 52428, Nairobi, KENYA

Int. Res. J. Social Sci., Volume 3, Issue (10), Pages 28-34, October,14 (2014)

Abstract

The use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for behaviour change communication is one of the approaches civil society in Kenya has embraced to confront the HIV/AIDS scourge. ICTs have a great potential to enable People Living with HIV (PLWHA) and other vulnerable groups such as women and the youth to respond appropriately to and participate effectively in programmes aimed at managing the impacts of the disease. This paper is focused on the actual role and potential benefits of ICTs in enhancing HIV/AIDS health communication in poorly resourced areas in Kenyan cities. Primary data for the study was collected through interviews and focus group discussions with administrators and users of ICT facilities in community HIV/AIDS project sites in Nairobi, Kenya. Additional secondary data was collected through documentary analysis of relevant literature. The collected data was analysed using content and conversation analysis. This study revealed that e-mail discussion groups, social media, the World Wide Web (WWW), radio, television and distance learning systems are some of the ICT tools which are being used in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the slums in Kenya’s cities; HIV/AIDS programmes in Kenya utilise ICT tools to enhance their prevention, education and behaviour change communication mitigations; and HIV/AIDS projects utilise ICTs to educate health workers of emerging health issues in their efforts to enhance the impact of their interventions. The use of ICTs has resulted in social change, reduction of vulnerabilities, enhanced advocacy on pertinent issues, development of supportive networks and alliances, and enhanced capacity development outcomes. The effective use of ICTs for health communication is hampered by inadequate ICT infrastructure; prohibitive costs associated with the use of ICTs, inadequate technical skills, and low awareness of the potential benefits of ICTs to support health programmes.

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