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Developing Communication Strategies for PMTCT  UNICEF’s PMTCT Communication Initiatives in Africa & Asia: Less PowerPoint Presentation
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Developing Communication Strategies for PMTCT  UNICEF’s PMTCT Communication Initiatives in Africa & Asia: Lessons Learned February 5, 2002.

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DevelopingCommunication Strategies forPMTCTUNICEF’sPMTCT Communication Initiatives in Africa & Asia:Lessons Learned February 5, 2002

Programme Communication, UNICEF New York February 2002 Shari Cohen

communication for pmtct
1998-2000: Most countries begin PMTCT pilot projects Communication components vary in quality - mostly ad hoc communication responses (IEC materials, etc.)

March 2000: Global PMTCT meeting in Gaborone reveals progress, gaps, and need for communication assistance

Programs in Africa & Asia request communication support

PMTCT communication tools produced or under development:

Generic communication framework for development of integrated PMTCT communication strategies

Community dialogue tool for community-level mobilization

Health worker sensitization training sessions

Q&A guide on infant feeding for service providers

Basic PMTCT info guide for service providers

Video documentation of better practices

Communication for PMTCT

Programme Communication, UNICEF New York February 2002 Shari Cohen

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UN Three-Pronged Strategy for PMTCT

I

II

III

  • Prevention of transmission of HIV, from an HIV-positive woman to her infant
  • Care & support for the mother and her family
  • Prevention of unintended pregnancies in HIV-positive women
  • Prevention of HIV in young people
  • Prevention of HIV infection in women of childbearing age

Programme Communication, UNICEF New York February 2002 Shari Cohen

communication for pmtct is more than simply increasing program uptake
Communication for PMTCT is more than simply increasing program uptake

UNICEF’s PMTCT communication framework provides a strong foundation within which key PMTCT-related issues such as:

Primary prevention

 Involvement of men, youth & PLWHAs

 Community-based care & support

 Gender imbalance

 Stigma & discrimination

 Income generation activities for HIV-affected families

are addressed during the development of the integrated communication strategy, providing solutions that are realistic, feasible & based on input and guidance from community & civil society members.

Programme Communication, UNICEF New York February 2002 Shari Cohen

applying the acada approach to pmtct lessons learned from africa asia
Using a wide variety of stakeholders in the planning stages ensures a more holistic strategy. Include: epidemiologists, communication specialists, nutritionists, HIV/STD/ANC/RH managers, counselors & service providers, men, youth, PLWHAs, CBOs, NGOs & International NGOs

Community relevance is ensured when strategic communication planning begins with participatory, community-based research

Capacity building & local ownership is key at all levels

Clarifying accountability (roles & responsibilities) for implementation keeps communication strategies moving forward in a timely manner

Lack of fulltime national PMTCT teams slows down progress in communication activities

Applying the ACADA approach to PMTCT Lessons learned from Africa & Asia:

Programme Communication, UNICEF New York February 2002 Shari Cohen

lessons learned continued
Involving men, youth, PLWHAs & local leaders is key to breaking the silence & stigma related to HIV/AIDS/MTCT

HIV/AIDS/PMTCT information must be clear, realistic, relevant and simple, especially regarding infant feeding options

PMTCT communication has wider reach & strength when integrated into existing HIV/AIDS/ANC/RH interventions

Community dialogue tools can help communities to identify & address stigma, thus creating more caring & supportive environments for HIV-affected families

Interpersonal communication remains the most effective & powerful tool in addressing issues related to PMTCT

Lessons learned continued...

Programme Communication, UNICEF New York February 2002 Shari Cohen

challenges
Stigma & discrimination still not comprehensively addressed

Inadequate use of research on community and audience perceptions of PMTCT-related issues

Still a tendency to expect behavior change results based on ad hoc “IEC” communication interventions (e.g. posters, brochures, mass media, etc. that are not based on research or connected to a larger communication strategy)

Communication interventions rarely address health workers, HIV-negative women & men in a comprehensive manner

Continued confusion about infant feeding protocols - Due to lack of sufficient & authoritative research on infant feeding options for HIV-positive mothers, and health worker attitudes towards infant feeding options

Challenges

Programme Communication, UNICEF New York February 2002 Shari Cohen

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Conclusions from the Africa & Asia experience

  • Increase variety of participants in communication planning, making a more concentrated effort to look at HIV/AIDS holistically, as a societal issue, not only as a public health issue
  • Begin communication with rapid social research, incorporating results in program design
  • Use community dialogue to address stigma, care & support issues
  • Increase participation of men, youth & PLWHAs
  • Make couple counselling male-friendly
  • Invest in interpersonal communication interventions
  • Increase correct understanding of basic HIV/AIDS transmission & prevention facts, including MTCT
  • Make more effort to research & understand community norms, values & practices related to PMTCT issues

Programme Communication, UNICEF New York February 2002 Shari Cohen