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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - PhD
Title The development of a training programme for peer learning educators in adolescent reproductive health in Zambia
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2006
URL https://scholar.sun.ac.za/bitstream/handle/10019.1/17326/Munalula-Nkandu_development_2005.pdf?sequen​ce=1
Zambia is reported to have high levels of maternal morbidity and mortality due to low contraceptive prevalence rates, over 50% of births not being attended to by skilled persons, and teenage pregnancies. A number of organisations (stakeholders) have invested in the training of adolescent reproductive health peer educators with the aim of empowering them to be role models to their peers in reproductive health, but Zambia does not have a generic and locally developed training programme for peer educators. The purpose of this study was to develop a training programme that would produce competent and more effective peer educators for Zambia. The objectives were to determine the characteristics of the ideal peer educator. Further objectives were to ascertain the factors that contribute to or impair the development of the ideal peer educator, and to determine whether training programmes that were being used were producing ideal peer educators and enhancing healthy lifestyle behaviours. Key stakeholders participated in group interviews were they presented and critiqued their training programmes. Emerging out of this process was a draft training programme, developed by the stakeholders. Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were held with adolescent peer educators from Lusaka, Kafue, Livingstone and Maheba refugee camp. Data were analysed by triangulating the outcomes of the group interviews (with the stakeholders) with the outcomes of the FGDs and reviewed literature. The FGDs highlighted the characteristics of an ideal peer educator as well as factors that contribute towards his/her competence development. Numerous factors were reported that had a negative impact on the development of an ideal peer educator. The peer educators reported that their training had had a positive effect on their lifestyle behaviours. While they had gained more knowledge on HIV and AIDS, they recommended more training on other health issues. The study found that at community level, peer educators were not being given adequate respect because the concept of voluntary work was not readily accepted and they were regarded as failures in life. Major demotivating factors were the lack of payment of incentives and the fact that peer educators were not certified. Peer educators did not receive sufficient support from programme managers/coordinators to enable them to become more effective at community level. Weaknesses in the way the training programmes were conducted were also discerned. Based on the findings of this study, it is recommended that more life skills’ development be promoted for peer educators. Training should be contextualised for the communities in which the peer educators work. The developed training programme, which should be used as a guide, should be repackaged to suit the profiles (e.g. values) of the different communities. Adolescents and various social sectors (inclusive of indicated stakeholders) ought to be involved in diagnosing community needs so as to influence both peers and communities in a way that would promote adolescent reproductive health. This study also recommends a more informal way of practising peer education, which would produce trainees who would be peer educators and role models in any given setting

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