Assessment of hiv/aids workplace policy adoption in factories in Machakos County, Kenya
Kaliti, Jacinta Mutheu
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ABSTRACT HIV/AIDs pandemic poses a significant obstacle to the attainment of decent work and sustainable development. Its effects are concentrated among the most productive age groups imposing huge costs on enterprises through falling productivity, increased labour costs and the loss of skills and experience. Despite ILO recognizing adoption of HIV/AIDs workplace policy as the initial practical step towards addressing HIV/AIDs pandemic and its effect at the work place, many companies are yet to adopt the HIV/AIDs workplace policy as a guiding document in recognizing and addressing HIV/AIDs as a workplace issue. Therefore, the broad objective of the study was to assess adoption of HIV/AIDs workplace policy among factories in Machakos County, Kenya. The study adopted a cross-sectional study design incorporating use of pre-tested questionnaires, key informant guides, focus group discussion guide and observation checklist for collecting data. A stratified sampling technique was used to sample a total of 386 respondents while purposive sampling was used to select 22 key informants who participated in the study. Descriptive statistics and Chi-square test were used to analyze quantitative data with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Sciences. Qualitative data was thematically analyzed using Nvivo software. Findings of the study indicated that only 39% of the factories had adopted HIV/AIDs workplace policy. On policy awareness, 70% of the respondents were aware of the policy. Out of these, 53% of the respondents had a moderate policy content awareness level and above. In regards to work-related factors, stigmatization (p=0.001) staff involvement (p=0.021), employer commitment (p=0.012), workers union activism (P=0.002) and government support (0.037) influenced adoption of the HIV/AIDs workplace policy in the factories. The main challenges facing adoption of the policy were poor enforcement of policies, lack of employer commitment, government support and employee involvement. In conclusion, there is low level of HIV/AIDs adoption in the factories due to poor enforcement of policies, low awareness of employees on the ILO recommendation in regards to HIV/AIDs workplace policy and lack of sufficient stakeholder support and commitment in developing, implementing and sustaining gains of the policy at the workplace. The study recommends enforcement of adoption of HIV/AIDs workplace policies by the factory management. The study identifies need for close supervision by government agencies, provision of regular sensitization/awareness seminars, trainings and sharing of relevant information on the policy and adequate staff involvement in adoption and implementation of the policy.