Knowledge, attitude and utilization of professional counselling services by residents of Kibera slums of Nairobi, Kenya
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Since the beginning of human history, counselling of one kind or another has always been in existence. With the advent of HIV/AIDS, professional counselling has emerged as an indispensable strategy in the prevention efforts. This study investigated the knowledge, attitude and utilization of professional counselling services in Kibera slums, which is the biggest informal settlement in Nairobi City. The slum area has 12 villages. Using cluster and systematic sampling procedures, about 34 respondents were selected from each village. In total, the study involved 408 respondents, 12 counsellors and 19 participants in Focus Group discussions. Data was collected and analyzed by both quantitative and qualitative techniques. Quantitative data was handled with the help of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software, while qualitative information entailed content analysis. The result of the study indicate that the awareness of professional counselling is quite high, though the majority of respondents think counselling is mainly for HIV/AIDS and health problems. About a half of respondents consult with family members before visiting counsellors. The utilization rates of counselling services are found as 23.3% for general counselling, 23.5% for VCT and 16.2% for indigenous doctor's service, 18.9% for herbalist's service and 38.2% for religious counselling. That is, traditional counselling is also sought in the community. Those who had visited professional counselling centres were likely to express satisfaction with the services. The socioeconomic and cultural constraints in utilization of professional counselling were found as education, cost, occupation, sexuality and ethnicity. Finally, the study suggests the need to: promote awareness of professional counselling; improve professional counselling services; expand VCT and general counselling services in urban and rural areas; train PLWHA as professional counsellors and research on outcomes of VCT services as well as traditional counselling.
- MST-Zoological Sciences