HEALTH EDUCATION SECTION

The section was formed to provide a stronger link between the community within Rakai and neighboring districts, and RHSP research team. Through dialogue fora with the community, the section creates awareness about HIV prevention interventions/research activities through education, advocacy, and community mobilization, liaising CAB activities, training community volunteers and promotion of combination prevention of HIV among key populations.

1. To discuss community concerns, beliefs and perceptions about research

2. To assess community information needs regarding research activities.

3. To dispel myths and rumors about HIV/AIDs prevention interventions

4. To enhance information sharing among PIs and community through meetings with CABs, trainings and feedback sessions

5. To promote use of HIV combination prevention interventions among key populations.

CHANNELS USED BY THE HEALTH EDUCATION SECTION DURING THE ACTIVITY IMPLIMENTATION

The section employs a multi channel approach to mobilize and promote health within the Rakai communities and to disseminate research findings. Variation of health education channels ensures that there is message reach to a wide group of people irrespective of age, and gender.

Sensitization workshops

These are segmented meetings for targeted community opinion leaders and research participants lasting for one day. We provide updates of program activities and information on upcoming studies and services. This is usually the first activity to be held in the community and it involves community volunteers, CAB members, religious leaders, health unit representatives, cultural leaders, school representatives and any other influential persons. During such meetings, the sections call for active participant and ownership among the community leaders towards program activities, and participatory approaches are always used to ensure continuity of planned activities.

General Community meetings
These are held at the lowest geographical unit, i.e. at the village level irrespective of gender and age. Through posters and volunteers/ local council leaders, the section is able to notify the community about the planned community dialogue meeting. During these meeting, participants are sensitized about the organization’s research activities and research findings. Community concerns, queries, and beliefs that might hamper the smooth running of the program activities are address and community participation encouraged.
Drama Shows

This is one of the crowds pulling channel that attracts majority of the community members due to its entertaining and educating characteristics. The sections dramatizes all the program activities and requests locally existing to stage shows within the study communities with the aim of reinforcing the messages among study participants. Drama shows are staged in communities that score low at general community meetings and on average we register an attendance of about 150 participants. This is mostly the preferred channel.

OTHER PARTENERS THAT HEALTH EDUCATION SECTION WORKS WITH

The health education section works in partnership with various communities, members during the implementation of the planned activities. Partnerships between the communities that participate in research and research institution (health education section) are vital to the success of research undertakings, educational and advocacy activities to HIV prevention research/interventions. Community advisory Board and other volunteers work as a bridge between researchers and study community.

Community Advisory Board

The RHSP institution was formed to provide a link between the researchers and the study participants within the study community. The CAB is currently composed of representatives of study participants, PLWHIV, Key populations, religious leaders, AIDs NGOs representatives the youth, and community leaders. The advisory board helps to explain HIV research and other developments to community members where research studies may take place, and always ensure that community concerns and other considerations unique to the local context are communicated to the researchers.

The activities of the CAB institution are liaised by the health education section, which ensures fair representation of all the study communities where research is implemented. Community participation ensures that research interventions are ethically and sustainably conducted without violating the values and norms of the community.

Community Health Mobilisers
These are the grass root volunteers and are democratically selected by their communities to act as a bridge between RHSP and the study community. Currently we have 164 fully fledge and trained volunteers who help us with the mobilization process and identification of study participants. These volunteers are trained annually to make sure that they are empowered and skilled in passing on the research and health related information to the community so as to improve compliance and adherence.
School Health Program

The section also increases awareness on HIV/AIDS, STDs and other reproductive health issue among school going adolescents. School health programs are aimed at preventing unwanted pregnancies and other reproductive health impacts among adolescents. Capacity building of senior teachers and formation of health clubs enhances sustainability of school health programs.

Sexual prevention sessions among the Key populations

The RHSP institution was formed to provide a link between the researchers and the study participants within the study community. The CAB is currently composed of representatives of study participants, PLWHIV, Key populations, religious leaders, AIDs NGOs representatives the youth, and community leaders. The advisory board helps to explain HIV research and other developments to community members where research studies may take place, and always ensure that community concerns and other considerations unique to the local context are communicated to the researchers.

The activities of the CAB institution are liaised by the health education section, which ensures fair representation of all the study communities where research is implemented. Community participation ensures that research interventions are ethically and sustainably conducted without violating the values and norms of the community.

Coordination of JHU Home stay program

The section plays apart in the coordination of JHU students who spend a week in a typical African family as a way of studying African culture

Our Location

The RHSP is located at the Uganda Virus Research Institute of the Ministry of Health in Entebbe (~15 minutes from Entebbe International airport) and in Kalisizo, Rakai District (about 2.30 hours from Kampala, the capital city of Uganda) where the Program has extensive field operations.

TWITTER


RT @GHFPII: What skills'll be needed for future of #globalhealth? Well, collaboration & teamwork never go out of style! #APHA2016 @sharon_r
Follow RHSP on Twitter