Assessing the engagement of young people with the comic book “Condoms : a decision for life” as an edutainment approach to HIV/AIDS prevention programme
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Citation:Phrasayamongkhounh, S. (2016). Assessing the engagement of young people with the comic book “Condoms : a decision for life” as an edutainment approach to HIV/AIDS prevention programme. An unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfillment for the Unitec Institute of Technology degree of Master of International Communication, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/3498
This study assesses how young Lao females engage with an edutainment type of information campaign that seeks to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS prevention. HIV/AIDS prevention is one of prioritised development strategies in Lao P.D.R. Over two decades, the Lao government has been trying to confine and reduce the number of HIV/AIDS patients. There have been several HIV/AIDS promotion programmes and activities for raising awareness, but there is a general lack in evaluating the effectiveness of these programs. Sexual and reproductive health is still a sensitive topic in Lao society. Designing health promotion programmes requires suitable communications approaches and tools for attracting and engaging target audiences. This thesis presents the evaluation of an edutainment model project as a communication tool in the health sector. The research focuses as a case study on the use of a comic book, Condoms: A Decision for Life, which was published and distributed in two provinces in Laos--Vientiane Capital and Savannakhet province by organizing workshops and training in educational institutions, a vocational training centre and a local community, in order to increase awareness on HIV/AIDS and condom use. The research examines the concept and design of the publication, type of information provided, target audience, their perceptions and attitudes, engagement with the publication and its content and their awareness levels after reading. Qualitative methods, including content analysis, semi in-depth interviews with key informants and focus group discussions, were employed for collecting data, followed by critical analysis and discussion of the findings. The findings of this study indicate that there is a general awareness of those involved in the health promotion sector in Laos of the need to raise awareness of reproductive health and HIV/AIDS prevention methods among Lao adolescents and the models/approaches/tools available to them in terms of information dissemination, including the edutainment model in the form of comic book. The data collected in this study indicate a successful application of the comic book project as evidenced by the readers’ ability to identify the use and value of the information provided in the publication. An analysis of the cartoon itself as a form of story telling using visual presentation, and explicit images and additional information, increased the readers’ awareness of the importance of consistently using condoms as a safe sex method in order to protect them from HIV/AIDS.Participants though indicated that they prefer to have a smaller size booklet that can be carried more easily inside bags to avoid embarrassment from being seen to carry in public print images of a still sensitive topic. This study also contributes insights and specific recommendations to the comic book designing team for future improvements in health related information campaigns in Laos that involve youth. Suggestions include additional information for female condom use, the revision of language, and dissemination of the comic book to local communities and the establishment of community volunteers in target areas.