TB HIV Care Voices: Honing the mobilisation skills of our front-line community workers

Staff blog. Submitted by: John Mutsambi (PrEP Coordinator)

Community peer mobilisers and educators are the most important communication tool for health promotion and uptake of the different HIV prevention options that science has availed.

To hone the skills of these front-line health workers, who are working with adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in uMgungundlovu (KZN), an intensive workshop on community mobilisation for HIV prevention was conducted from 7-8 May, 2018.

The forum brought together 42 participants, including 27 THC HIV Prevention Programme staff and 15 Girls Clubs mentors from Community Media Trust.

The training started with an overview of the HIV epidemic in South Africa and narrowed the focus to AGYW, highlighting the burden they carry as well as the combination HIV prevention options available to them –  which will soon include PrEP.

Thoughtful engagement and discussions on the importance of community mobilisation, the qualities of a good community mobiliser, their roles and responsibilities and how to plan effectively for community mobilisation ensued. During the workshop, a road map detailing the process from community mobilisation all the way through to the provision of clinical and care services was created. The training ended with a reflection on Idowu Koyenikan’s quotation which says, “There is immense power when a group of people with similar interests get together to work toward the same goals”.

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