Avert’s community health workers’ HIV Hub, Boost, is a new project (launching in January 2020) to develop a digital information hub which will provide accessible and engaging HIV and sexual health content for hundreds of thousands of community healthworkers and their clients across Southern Africa.
In population-based surveys conducted across East and Southern Africa between 2011 and 2016, just 33% of young people had comprehensive and correct knowledge about HIV.1 Community health workers have the potential to support millions of people living with, or at risk of HIV in Southern Africa. They are often people’s first point of contact with the health system, and both the African Union and UNAIDS have endorsed a plan to support the training and deployment of 2 million community health workers across Africa.
However, to play an effective role, community health workers need clear, accessible, and accurate information on HIV and AIDS so they can keep their knowledge up-to-date and provide high quality care and support to their clients and communities.
What will Boost provide?
Boost will provide engaging content, delivered in creative formats, through an accessible interface – targeted at community healthworkers in Southern Africa, but accessible globally.
The project will both adapt and tailor existing content from Avert.org, and co-create new content with community health workers – including short videos, animations and audio clips; quizzes, infographics and personal stories; and simple programming good practice guides.
The project aims to fill a recognised gap in informal m-health/e-health resources that can support ongoing information needs that may be additive or outside of community health workers’ existing training curricula.
It will draw on and respond to the rapidly growing access to smartphones and the internet in the region, while also seeking to provide alternative delivery channels through NGOs in the region to make content available to the widest possible group of community health workers.
The Boost project began in February 2019, with the first round of scoping and consultations held in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia between February and April 2019.
Boost will be launched and promoted in relevant priority countries in Southern Africa by the end of January 2020. An external evaluation is an integral part of the project, with an evaluation report due to be published by September 2020.
Want to find out more?
If you are interested in supporting Boost, or want to know more about how your organisation can benefit from its resources, please get in touch with us, or sign up to our Boost email list for everything you need to know!