Influence of Demographic Variables on the Perception of Science Teachers Towards the Inclusion of Hiv/aids Education in Secondary Schools

Influence of Demographic Variables on the Perception of Science Teachers Towards the Inclusion of Hivaids Education in Secondary Schools

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ABSTRACT

Health is wealth is a common saying among the people. For people to live a healthy life many precautions will have to be taken. The health condition of the people is of great concern to government and people who are involved in health care delivery. One of the health problems facing our society now is the problem of HIV/AIDS which has become epidemic. Reproductive health programmes has been given a considerate focus in the health policies. The problem of AIDS has become a global one for the United Nation Organisation (UNO) has declared December 1st of every year the World AIDS Day. This Day was first marked on 1stDecember 1998. This is an effort to raise awareness to the unending epidemic. Statistics from the 2003 edition of the AIDS epidemic by UNAIDS shows that Two million dies of AIDS related causes in 2002. Efforts are being made to find solution to this problem. HIV/AIDS has claimed the lives of 25 million people since the start of the epidemic according to greater than one organisation. The havoc HIV/AIDS has caused to human being is monumental. The situation is worse in African Nations because of the poverty level. This problem has been a source of worries to many African leaders and government as well. According to Mandela (2002) “AIDS today in Africa is claiming more lives than the sum total of all wars, famines and floods, and the ravages of such deadly diseases as malaria. It is devastating families and communities, overwhelming and depleting health care services, and robbing schools of both students and teachers”. Therefore, this study investigate how teachers of Science perceive the inclusion of HIV/AIDS Education in secondary schools as one way being advocated for solution to the HIV/AIDS epidemic through education.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 Background to the Study

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) which causes the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) was first discovered in the early 1980s. it has spread more rapidly than most diseases in recent history, having social cultural, economical and moral repercussions on individuals, families, communities and threatening foundations of entire societies. Over the years, the link between HIV/AIDS and impoverishment has grown and even stronger as the diseases is infecting and affecting the younger generation who are the productive labour force of every economy. HIV infections are spreading quickly within the youth populations and what happens to them today will determine what becomes of them and their communities in the future. An estimated 11.8 million young people aged 15-24 are living with HIV/AIDS, and half of all new infections, over 6,000 daily, are occurring among them. (The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS, 2003.)

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified HIV/AIDS as one of the world’s first health emergency and an urgent threat to global public health. It reveals that HIV/AIDS is the worlds’ second widely spread communicable disease and the sixth common cause of death globally. (WHO, 2004) In international circles in recent years, it has received as much attention as other pressing global questions like war, terrorism, environmental degradation among others. According UNAIDS (2006), about 65 million people have been affected and more than 25 million people have died of AIDS related causes. The situation is made even gloomier, with 29 million new infections estimated by 2020 if prevention and treatment are not accelerated.

The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) report for 2006, states that several countries report success in reducing HIV infections.

However, the overall infection rate is on the rise. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) remains the highest affected region. The WHO (2004) has classified HIV/AIDS as the main cause of adult mortality in Africa. It affirms that about 3.1% and 3.9% of all male and female deaths respectively are caused by AIDS related diseases. In the same vein, UNAIDS (2006) fact sheet states that 63% of the global HIV/AIDS infections are in Africa, South of the Sahara with the prevalence rate highest among the age group 15-49 years. It is for which reason African heads of states declared AIDS as a state of emergency in the continent during the African Development Forum (2000).

UNAIDS/WHO (2007) estimate the number of persons living with HIV worldwide is 33.2 million. Deaths related to HIV/AIDS declined from 2.2 million in 2005 to 2.0 million in 2007. However, the number of new infections rose to 2.5 times higher than the number of infected persons receiving treatment (UNAIDS, 2008). Rather than being complacent, this underscores the need for countries to increase their commitment to prevention efforts. This is necessary if this pandemic must start reversal in order to meet the 2015 target by the MDGs and to save humanity from an impending scourge.

The WHO (2005) observes that young people in Nigeria are highly affected. Indeed, a third of Nigerians infected are 18-35 years of age. This age group constitutes all Nigerians who are in secondary school, high school, University, vocational schools, professional schools and those in active service. Mbanya, Martyn & Paul (2008) stated  the socio-economic impact of the disease is profound with growing numbers of sections being affected, and high hospital bed occupancy rampant. They add that this results in overstretched medical personnel and extra burden to the health and education sectors where school teachers are reported to be unproductive on several counts and morbidity increasing from opportunistic infections. This of course, poses a major challenge to the socio

-economic development of the country considering the fact that the age group below 18 makes up about 42% of the entire population (Population Reference Bureau, 2009).


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