Linking People to PMTCT Services
BRIDGE II promoted Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) Option B+ to prevent pregnant women infected with HIV from passing on the virus to their unborn babies. Option B+ offers all HIV-positive pregnant women lifelong antiretroviral therapy regardless of their CD4 count. This strategy was selected due to limitations in accessing reliable CD4 testing in Malawi. BRIDGE II created awareness about Option B+ and referred couples to PMTCT services.
To encourage HIV positive women to access PMTCT services, and their partners to support them, BRIDGE II incorporated the promotion of Option B+ into its popular Tasankha campaign. The second phase of Tasankha took a rigorous approach by promoting PMTCT through radio spots, the Chenicheni Nchiti? radio program, open days, print materials, interactive dramas, and through the Tasankha Discussion Guide. BRIDGE II produced 3 radio spots and two posters on PMTCT, and printed and distributed over 2,000 PMTCT communication charts used during counseling sessions and client education in Antenatal Care Clinics, under-5 clinics and family planning clinics. The charts were also used by community facilitators to disseminate PMTCT Option B+ messages during small group discussions.
Furthermore, BRIDGE II Community Referral Agents referred community members to PMTCT services through group meetings and door-to-door visits. This resulted in over 1,344 women and 21,577 couples getting referred for PMTCT services.