Since a military coup in 1999, Côte d'Ivoire has experienced political unrest, straining the country's already fragile health system. Limited access to health and family planning services, weak knowledge about HIV transmission, and low condom use, among other factors, have contributed to an HIV prevalence rate among adults of 3.9%, among the highest in West Africa. In Côte d'Ivoire, women are more than twice as likely to acquire HIV as are men, and girls are at the highest risk for HIV infection. Decreasing the vulnerability of women and girls to HIV requires a multifaceted approach that includes health centers and communities alike and that focuses on men as well as on women.
To address these realities, the RESPOND Project at EngenderHealth focuses on involving men in HIV prevention and preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Specifically, positive male norms are promoted through EngenderHealth's Men As Partners® (MAP) approach. RESPOND works collaboratively with local partners, including the Ministère de l'Éducation Nationale (MEN), ACONDA-VS, a local nongovernmental organization, and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) to design, implement, and evaluate FP-HIV integrated services at health facilities; to implement trainings on FP-HIV integration and stigma reduction; and to develop communication materials to engage men in HIV prevention.
Partners for Health, Partners for Life Public Awareness Campaign Posters (Côte d'Ivoire)
- Poster 1: "Play your role: accompany your pregnant wife to the hospital"
- Poster 2: "Her appointment is my appointment: I accompany my pregnant wife to the hospital"
Next Steps for FY 2012-2013
Further expanding on our work to engage men as partners, EngenderHealth is collaborating with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to train health providers in Côte d'Ivoire to respond to survivors of gender-based violence (GBV). A March 2012 assessment on the readiness of health facilities in the country will guide RESPOND's activities in the country.
Also building on previous EngenderHealth activities in Côte d'Ivoire, RESPOND is working with selected Ministry of Health facilities supported by U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) partners, including the EGPAF and ACONDA_VS,to improve the health of families by preventing HIV transmission and unplanned pregnancy. With a particular focus on integrating family planning and HIV prevention and care services, RESPOND is continuing to expand its technical support to health care professionals and community activities using the MAP® approach. Specifically, RESPOND is: