Long-standing PocketMedia® Solutions’ client, The Desmond Tutu TB Centre (DTTC) at Stellenbosch University, has produced a book – ‘A practical guide to implementing community-based HIV-prevention services – Experiences shared and lessons learned from South Africa’.
The guide was funded by the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States’ President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a global epidemic, and preventing the transmission of HIV is essential in combatting AIDS. It is widely acknowledged that HIV prevention and treatment cannot be realised in government healthcare facilities alone. Tackling the HIV epidemic requires a joint response by government, in partnership with civil society.
“Community-based HIV-prevention services can play an important role in the fight against HIV, and the guide is an important resource for those wanting to set up community-based HIV prevention services, as part of an integrated public health approach,” says the DTTC’s Sue-Ann Meehan.
The DTTC, also with funding from the CDC and PEPFAR, has produced numerous PocketMedia® Z-CARD®s over the past eight years, to use as compact, printed tools to provide appropriate counselling and testing information to communities about numerous health-related issues, including HIV, tuberculosis (TB), prevention of mother-to-child transmission, sexually transmitted infections, maternal health and medical male circumcision. The cards were produced in English, Afrikaans and Xhosa.
The guide was produced using knowledge gained from three independent community-based HIV-prevention projects, implemented by the DTTC between 2008 and 2017, and serves as a best-practice tool so that others can emulate this successful model. The aim is to share experiences and the lessons learnt from this work with other programme implementers in South Africa, other African countries and around the world. Information about the Z-CARD®s is contained in the guide.
“Information, education and communication materials, including Z-CARD®s, are an ideal way to educate clients about health matters,” says Meehan.
“South Africa is home to nearly 20% of the 36.7 million people living with HIV around the world, and has the largest national antiretroviral programme, with 3.3 million people on treatment. Because of this staggering reality, CDC/PEPFAR enthusiastically provided funding and technical assistance to this ground-breaking guide, to help make the implementation of prevention programmes easy to understand and follow,” says Nancy Hedemark Nay, the Acting Country Director, US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, South Africa office.
“The guide is a result of collaboration between individuals from different organisations and in their personal capacity, who, over many months, have generously given of their time, shared their practical knowledge, expertise and narratives. We have had an excellent response to it so far,” says Meehan.
The guide, which will be translated into an additional five languages, is being distributed through various channels, including health services, CDCs, social media, websites and non-governmental organisations. Click here to download your copy now.