249424 Khusela project: Using entertainment-education to spread PMTCT messages in 3 rural sub-districts in Eastern Cape, South Africa

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 9:06 AM

Brittany Bricen, MPH , Department of International Health, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
The Eastern Cape Province has the third largest number of HIV positive people in South Africa. The HIV prevalence in the general population for 2009 is 18.5%* and is even higher (29%) among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics (Nicolay, 2008). Among pregnant women, only about half are tested for HIV, despite the existence of a national program for the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT). The objective of the project is to improve the quality, availability, and uptake of PMTCT services throughout three rural sub-districts. Three levels of health service delivery are targeted: Department of Health (DoH), rural health clinics, and the local community. I evaluated the progress of the project's main activity at the community level, Magnet Theatre (MT), which is intended to spread PMTCT messages and raise awareness about services while fostering discussion and debate of issues. Drama troupes develop and perform short skits containing PMTCT messages, which are performed monthly throughout each sub-district. To assess the effectiveness of these performances, qualitative/quantitative survey tools were developed and distributed to troupe members who then administered them to a sample of community members (N=113). The results of the survey showed that sessions are well attended and have generated interest among community members who want to learn more about PMTCT and HIV testing. A majority of attendees reported that they discussed PMTCT issues following a performance. MT is an interactive community tool that is effective in disseminating PMTCT messages and in increasing general HIV/AIDS and PMTCT knowledge among community members.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Assess the effectiveness of Magnet Theatre performances.

Keywords: HIV Interventions, Women and HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I completed my work under the direction of my client organization, South Africa Partners, during my MPH course of study at Boston University, where my major was International health with a focus on HIV/AIDS prevention.
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.

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