244475 Women promoters: An effective social mobilization strategy to attract female clients to mobile HIV counseling and testing (MHCT) services

Monday, October 31, 2011: 9:30 AM

Saba Amdework, MPH , Private Health Sector Program, Abt Associates, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tesfai Gabre-Kidan, MD , Private Health Sector Program, Abt Associates, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Semunegus Mehrete, MPH , Private Health Sector Program, Abt Associates, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Mohammed Dawd Negash, Bsc, MPH , Private Health Sector Program, Abt. Associates Inc., Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Derebe Tadesse Abate, BSc, MPH , Private Health Sector Program, Abt Associates, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Abinet Tekabe Hailesilassie , Private Health Sector Program, Abt Associates, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Background: The USAID-funded Private Health Sector Program (PHSP) supports MHCT services to reach the most at risk populations (MARPs) for HIV infection in 29 towns of Ethiopia. PHSP implements various social mobilization activities, including car announcements, leaflet distribution, mass-media efforts and home visits by women promoters (WP). The goal is to identify MARPs and mobilize them to seek MHCT services. Methods: Quantitative data was collected from 29 towns in Ethiopia from April-October 2010. The objective of the study was to assess the effectiveness of social mobilization strategies to influence female clients to seek MHCT. A total of 38,442 clients were tested; 44.2% were female. A quantitative analysis using SPSS 16.0 was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of different social mobilization strategies implemented. Results: Of the strategies implemented, peer mobilization with WPs was most effective in mobilizing female clients. Approximately 58.3% of the total women tested came to MHCT centers because they were mobilized by WPs, as compared to car announcements (31.8%) or mass media (5.6%). The WPs were also successful in identifying and mobilizing female MARPs. Approximately 69% of commercial sex workers and 67% of women ages 30-34 sought MHCT services because of WPs. Conclusions: Peer mobilization of female MARPs to seek MHCT services is more effective compared to mass communication methods. Using peer promoters from the same community who are respected and have strong social networking skills has a positive influence in identifying and mobilizing MARPs to seek MHCT. This approach should be replicated in future MHCT outreach efforts.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control

Learning Objectives:
Identify effective strategies to mobilize females to seek MHCT services.

Keywords: Community-Based Health Promotion, Peer Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am Mobile HIV counseling and testing Program Coordinator working on HCT programatic activities under the USAID Private Health Sector Program.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Women & HIV/AIDS
See more of: HIV/AIDS