AIDS or acquired immune deficiency syndrome is a dangerous disease which is life-threatening to humans. It is one of the most debilitating diseases and is mostly spread by coming in contact with the blood, semen or vaginal secretions of an infected individual. The contribution of AIDS is among the highest in increasing the mortality rate in many countries, therefore it is impertinent to increase the understanding and awareness of the disease and its spread within a community through an awareness program. This essay will entail a discussion of the disease and primary strategies for community engagement using the Laverack's ladder as a guide and help in addressing this health concern. It shall also encompass core domains of capacity building within the community and look into models and approaches which can be used for creating education or awareness in the community thereby leading to the promotion of health.
Laverack’s ladder of participation highlights the significance of community-based engagement to attain a favourable health outcome within a community. It establishes a crucial link between the control capacity of an individual and the social factors or the social health determinants (Hing et al., 2017) It also underpins the importance of leadership as an indispensable tool for increasing the integration of health programs within the communities. Laverack's approach offers a high value for increasing community participation. It also helps the government and other healthcare units by reducing the healthcare burden and helping the members of the community to take ownership of their health by active participation. In this way, Laverack's approach helps in making the health programs more effective.
The three key strategies for implementing a prevention program for HIV/AIDS are: The first strategy includes the role of policymakers for effective policymaking. It is the core or the foundation on which the community program is based. It is vital that the policymakers and the government to take interest and take adequate steps or initiatives in making appropriate policies to have a greater impact on the community for increasing awareness and eradicating the disease.
All the renowned international bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nation Organization (UNO)as well as the Federal Government are the best examples to cite the policy-making procedures in healthcare. They ensure that the policies are in favour of motivating participation in a community and encourage leadership skill both of which are of high importance in empowering the community. The first strategy is to identify and involve the stakeholders for increasing the reach of the health care facilities to the migrant workers and farmers in the rural and remote areas with the help of municipality for setting up of mobile clinics. The second strategy is to implement a health awareness program to educate the community members for the prevention of HIV/AIDS. The third strategy is to encourage the active participation of members of the community through effective leadership skills.
There is also a need to focus on the efficacy of the community health program and this can be done by conducting a routine evaluation plan. According to the research conducted by Cheney & McKnight, (2010), The plan of evaluation includes specific monitoring by the supervising teams to ensure that our project operating as per the plan and is able to address various needs of the members of the community. The evaluation of the task can be accomplished by the means of conducting surveys and interviews, obtaining information from healthcare provider records, laboratory findings, all of which can be done every quarter for tracking the progress of the intervention.
As per Liberto et al., 2011, the core domains for capacity-building recognizes communication as the greatest tool in promoting awareness of the disease and to strengthen the program. Communication is used as a dissemination of the relevant information. This information can be used to resolve many health-related issues and address challenges about the lack of sufficient information. Communication can ensure that the preventative measures are being taken to avoid the serious health implications caused due to the disease. Thus, the member of the community needs to have effective communication within the members of their community to increase the awareness of their health condition and have knowledge and understanding of the disease.
The process of communication involves a sender, which is usually the hospital. The message is conformed into a presentation or presented in the form of a brochure or a booklet with images and illustrations for easing the understanding, the emphasis is laid on the use of easy and simple language, avoiding medical jargon. It provides substantial information on the disease and the prevention strategies of the disease. This enables to build a stronger system that which can enhance the awareness of the disease within the community as a whole.Furthermore, with the advancement in technology in the field of healthcare has led to newer and better opportunities which aid in improving access to members of the community. For instance,in the use of digital media and social media platforms a large number of people can be accessed and the information can be readily disbursed.
The health belief model is the used for promoting health in the communities and it constitutes, “analysing the thought process of the community around the subject of the disease, and its mode of spread.” This model helps in creating an improved level of understanding and awareness of withing communities. Policy formation utilizes knowledge as an important part of the decision-making aspect. Two examples of knowledge utilization arerelated to the medical management of AIDS and protection or prevention of AIDS. The members of the community must recognize the significance of information to understand how to deal with AIDS and to obtain knowledge which can help them to distinguish right source of information fromnon-credible sources of information (Lasser, K. E., Himmelstein, D. U., &Woolhandler, S., 2006; Bezerra&Sorpreso, 2016). According to Bourke et al., (2018), “The assessment is knowledge which is the basis for the research, sources of data acquired which together serves as an effective foundation for health promotion by aiding decision making and program designing processes in the sector of health care.It has been able to form an understanding to build awareness of HIV within the communities.
The health belief model helps to design community awareness programs based on the communities existing understanding. On the other hand, the education model, lays more emphasis on the understanding which may or may not resonate with all the members of the community at the same levels. By this, this ‘educational model’ ends up in providing relevant and irrelevant information which may be incomprehensiblefor the members of the community. A huge amount is investedfor research and development of these models. According toVries, Kremers&Lippke, (2018),
“Data can be obtained through databases and blood sample banks in various parts of the world. This can help form a strong research evaluation and also help create better levels of understanding of the factors that are leading to HIV becoming epidemic and resulting in problems for the society.”Which can be employed for making decisionsrelated to choosing of a particular model.When research is conducted appropriately, by using data from dependable resources, it produces reliable and valid results. The government ensures the credibility of the research, which it sponsors or for which it provides funds for.Therefore, a research which based on evidence is of huge value in the industry of healthcareand also data serves as an important tool on which the evidence-based researchers are conducted. (Lasser, Himmelstein&Woolhandler, 2006).
The qualitative researchers which are based on multiple factors such as dealing with HIV positive patients, gain support from informal sources such as from their immediate family, carers and peer circles, it helps to make the research an essential in the human rights domain. When the element of research is strengthened it is possible to ensure implementation of newer policies, and incorporating the procedures for the betterment of the community. According to the research done byFursova(2020), “it inspiresleadership and empowers people.” Research and analysis help the government to form and implement form better policies.For instance, research and analysis on HIV encompasses statistical evaluation of the data and collection related to unprotected sex. Only It is possible only when there is increased capacity, leadership and community awareness. The evaluation is based on the basis of results and outcomes gained from the research.
The previous levels of understanding and awareness relate to HIV infection must be compared with the after rate of levels of understanding and awareness relate to HIV infection, post the awareness program.It is beneficial in evaluating the efficacy of the program. Another important way of capacity building and empowering community is to utilize the technology and social media platforms for reaching out to all the individuals. In today’s age social media is the best way for enhancing knowledge and delivering information to the masses just within a time a time of click. True empowerment occurs when the community members are equipped with knowledge and educated about the application of the acquired knowledge in their day to day lives. By empowering the communities, the ownership and responsibility to take care of the health is borne by each member the community for themselves. This is effective way to decrease the burden on the healthcare system by decreasing the rate of mortality and morbidity caused not only by the life threatening disease such as AIDS, but also lowers the incidence of chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases which act as hurdles in health promotion within the communities.
In the year 1988, the concept of self-efficacy was introduced. Hahn et al., (2009) defined Self-efficacy as “the person’s perception of competence to efficiently perform a behaviour.”Furthermore, it was added to the other four components to enhance an understanding of individual behaviour of a person in respect to the status of his health. Later on, the concept of self-efficacy was recognized as a prime component of the health belief model. It was used for developing strong community goals and healthcare commitments. Althoughmost of the variables are internal such as immunity and genetics, other variables also have a role to play in the health statistics of an individual. These include demographic data such as age, sex, gender, social history. Sexual preferences, examinations, lab reports and other information.
It can be seen that many non-governmental organizations, as well as organizations which work for the human rights, have come together for addressing the issue of increasing the awareness of AIDS, in the community locally as well as on a global level. The burden of this is also being borne by the governments of developed countries as well as the international bodies such as UNESCO and WHO to deal with the issue of increased morbidity and mortality caused due to AIDS. The research has focused on the aspect of public health management and measures which have been undertaken on a global level to control the spread of AIDS in the communities and the nation at large.
Furthermore, the increase in access to the medical facilities and further research is required for helping the community members to deal with the disease and obtain medical treatment of AIDS. The community awareness programs have been successful in providing education and complete awareness to the people regarding the disease, which has led to community empowerment. It is vital to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the planned interventions throughout the project. The evaluation of the task can be accomplished by the means of conducting surveys and interviews, obtaining information from healthcare provider records, laboratory findings, all of which can be done every quarter for tracking the progress of the intervention.
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