The Tanzania Capacity and Communication Project (TCCP) worked with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) and other implementing partners to develop a strategy for supporting the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (eMTCT) in Tanzania through communication. The strategy outlined that communication activities would be aimed at pregnant and lactating women, and would be designed to increase the proportion of these women that knew about the new eMTCT policy, started antiretroviral treatment (ART) immediately if they were diagnosed with HIV, and continued ART for life. The strategy also defined an important secondary audience, including regional and district health management teams, local leaders, male partners of primary audience members, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) service providers, and the media.
The strategic design team worked together to develop communication materials, including fact sheets, an informational leaflet, a press release template, promotional materials, and print materials such as posters. These materials addressed key barriers, including:
- Difficulty of taking daily medication
- Issues around disclosure of HIV-positive status
- Side-effects of ART
The materials highlighted important benefits including:
- Better health for both mother and baby
- The chance of giving birth to a child that is HIV-negative
The design team included key messages highlighting the availability of free, lifelong ART for all pregnant and breastfeeding women through a regimen limited to only one pill per day. The materials encourage community members to support HIV-positive pregnant and lactating women in medication adherence and attendance to clinic appointments.