Behavioral Change Communication

NaSoMa’s Behavior Change Communication (BCC) component was established in 2003 to contain the spread and impact of HIV/AIDS in Namibia. Due to the success of the BCC program, the Ministry of Health and Social Services mandated NaSoMa to implement BCC in selected high transit areas e.g. Keetmanshoop and Oshakati in 2004. This project was funded by DFID under the SADC Regional HIV/AIDS initiative.

The purpose of the project is to strengthen an enabling environment in which men, women and young people most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS can reduce their HIV-related risk behavior. Since this was a two-year pilot project that ended in June 2006, NaSoMa managed to secure additional funding from KfW through the Federal Republic of Germany and the Namibia Global Fund Program to sustain the project until 2009.

NaSoMa adopted a holistic approach to address the needs of various target groups focusing on the 1) Individual, 2) Community, 3) Societal levels. A Peer Education strategy is in place to reach communities and targets people with focused education messages and provide condoms as a means of protection.

Significant Milestones

Mobile Workers

As part of the BCC project activities, truck ports are visited twice a week to educate truckers on the importance of safer sex practices. Such outreach has become an important component of the program as it helps raise awareness of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and presents unique opportunities for participants to find out more on issues regarding safer sex.

In and Out of School Youth

A further target group is the in and out of school youth. For primary school youth the focus is on raising awareness on the advantages of abstinence whilst messages for secondary and out of school youth is on delay of early sexual debut, faithfulness, correct and consistence condom use and encouraging VCT. A reward system is devised to encourage students to participate and to inculcate a sense of non-risky sexual behaviours.

Commercial Sex Workers

The programme has made significant breakthrough in the commercial sex profession. Many of the commercial sex workers have been trained as peer educators and are now directly involved in educating their peers with regard to condom use and Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT).

 

Publications

• Baseline Study

• KAP (Knowledge Aptitude Practice)

• How to use a condom leaflet

• SADC/DfID Brochure

• Truck Driver STI leaflet

• Commercial Sex Worker STI leaflet