Southern Africa Region
Through funding from the USAID Regional HIV/AIDS Program (RHAP), K4Health implements a number of activities in the Southern Africa region in collaboration with regional and national partners to strengthen knowledge sharing and communication for HIV prevention.
The Southern Africa region is the global epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, home to some of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world. According to the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, the region is home to 11.3 million people living with HIV/AIDS. Excluding Angola, all Southern African countries have HIV prevalence rates greater than 10 percent.
It is crucial for health care professionals to have a network through which they can exchange knowledge about HIV—knowledge that can ultimately prevent further spread of the virus.
The overall goals of the K4Health program in Southern Africa are twofold: (1) to improve HIV prevention knowledge sharing and (2) to improve the capacity of stakeholders to strengthen systems for knowledge sharing and communication.
To inform program activities, the Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Information Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS), with support from K4Health, first conducted a rapid HIV/AIDS information needs assessment among health care professionals in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Key activities of the program include:
- Creating a Regional Knowledge Sharing Commons: Using open source software, K4Health developed the Southern Africa HIV AIDS Resource Exchange (SHARE), a regional Web-based commons for capturing HIV/AIDS information and promoting knowledge exchange. This virtual space provides a platform where health and HIV-focused professionals can connect with one another, seek answers to technical questions, and contribute their own knowledge for others to access. SHARE also has forged strong links to repurpose existing online resources from a variety of high-quality collections including K4Health Toolkits, Swaziland’s NERCHA Info Centre, and a SADC literature review database.
- Providing Electronic Toolkits of Tailored, Expert-Vetted HIV/AIDS Resources: K4Health Southern Africa Toolkits provide health policy makers, program managers, and service providers quick and easy access to vetted, electronic libraries of relevant and reliable resources related to HIV and AIDS. The resources are available in one convenient location, accessible online as well as through offline media, such as CD-ROMs. The full collection of Southern Africa Toolkits will include country-level collections for Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, as well as regional collections on HIV and LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex), Human Resource for Health (HRH), and Traditional Leadership and HIV. Sign up for the SHARE eNewsletter to be notified when Southern Africa Toolkits become available.
- Developing eLearning Courses: In 2011, SAfAIDS, with support from K4Health, launched its first eLearning course on Documenting and Communicating Best Practices for HIV Prevention. Based on a successful face-to-face training package, this freely available eLearning course will be directly applied in Swaziland to build the capacity of local organizations to document and communicate best practices and contribute them to the SHARE knowledge-sharing commons. SAfAIDS is currently developing two additional courses—on HIV and Traditional Leadership and on LGBTI and HIV. Sign up for the SHARE eNewsletter to receive notice when the new courses are available.
- Facilitating eForums: K4Health is building SAfAIDS’s capacity to conduct expert-moderated eForums in three countries. Upcoming regional eForums will cover working with traditional leaders on HIV issues as well as on LGBTI and HIV. To receive notice when the upcoming eForums will be conducted in Southern Africa, sign up for the SHARE eNewsletter.
Project Duration: January 2009 – June 2013
Funding: USAID Regional HIV/AIDS Program (RHAP)