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HIV survey among the deaf commences in Kampala

By Vision Reporter

Added 4th February 2014 02:59 PM

A programme to survey the HIV/AIDS status among the deaf people in Kampala has been inaugurated. The Crane Survey; a collaborative activity between ministry of health, Makerere University School of Public Health and the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) kicked off yeste

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By Agnes Kyotalengerire

A programme to survey the HIV/AIDS status among the deaf people in Kampala has been inaugurated.  The Crane Survey; a collaborative activity between ministry of health, Makerere University School of Public Health and the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) kicked off yesterday and will last for six months. 
 
The survey funded by PEPFAR; a US Government’s HIV assistance programme is the first of its kind in Uganda. It will cover the greater Kampala region; Kampala, Mukono, Wakiso and Mpigi districts.  
 
A total sample of 1,500 deaf people aged above 18 years will take part in the survey.
 
This was revealed during an inauguration workshop at Grand Imperial Hotel in Kampala on Friday.
 
Speaking during the workshop, Associate Professor School of Public Health, Dr. Rhoda Wanyenza said deaf people in Uganda are often disadvantaged, lack access to health care and have challenges in attaining proper health knowledge.
  
“Due to their disability, many are more vulnerable, putting them potentially at increased risk of getting HIV/AIDS,” Wanyenza said.
  
She said what aggravates the problem is the lack of data about the health needs of the deaf, their risk for HIV and their access to HIV services, such as treatment. 
 
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 Participants making deliberations during the inauguration of the HIV and health survey among the deaf at Grand Imperial Hotel Kampala. Picture by Agnes Kyotalengerire
 
The chairperson finance and administration committee National Council for Disability, James Aniyamuzala is optimistic that the survey will help shed light on the health needs of the deaf and improve health literacy and access to health services among the deaf.
 
Aniyamuzala said the survey creates an opportunity to influence policies on issues to do with people with disabilities.
 
George William Lubwama the Crane Survey project manager said using a video-based sign language questionnaire, the survey will examine respondent’s general health status, alcohol, tobacco and drug use as well as access to health care, HIV testing, care, treatment and HIV related diseases.
 
Lubwama said during the survey respondents will be tested for HIV and syphilis. Treatment for syphilis will be provided at the survey offices at Reev House Bombo Road, Wandegeya. Those found with HIV will be referred to HIV care and treatment providers.
 
Respondents will receive pre and post-test counseling for HIV and which will be aided by computer technology.   
 
Ambrose Murangira the executive director Uganda National Association of the Deaf urged researchers to include deaf people in the research. “For the research to be successful, you need to work with the people you are researching about. When you involve one or two deaf people, the deaf community feel free and get committed to participate in the survey,” Murangira said.
 
He commended Crane Survey for choosing an appropriate method; video-computer based sign language to collect data.  
 
“The biggest problem with deaf people is communication; it starts right at home and continues to the health facilities which affects their access to health services.   
 
Using  video-computer based method to conduct interviews will help reduce the gap of communication. 
 
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 Another deaf person communicating during the inauguration of the HIV and health survey among the deaf at
Grand Imperial Hotel
 
 

HIV survey among the deaf commences in Kampala

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