Baylor Uganda has been implementing the the prevention for key and priority populations programme since 2018. KP Programming set out plans for COP20 including hotspot mapping and size estimation, KP Household mapping, classification and enrolment of KPs/PPs for HIV prevention and care services including screening and enrolment of KPs/PPs on PrEP through PrEP awareness campaigns, TB screening, referral, follow ups, including TB DOTs, STI screening and management, Hepatitis B screening, condom promotion and distribution, assessment, referral of children of FSW for OVC program enrolment, initiation and monitoring of CCLADS and CDDPS for KPs/PPs on ART, community VL sample collection, community IAC and community score cards at health facilities.
Borrowing from KPIF experience, Social economic strengthening activities especially skills sessions and VSLAS as well as behavioural change sessions were planned and implemented as a means of improving KP retention in care.
The programme would like to profile behavioural change practices that were registered during implementation as a knowledge management product to be shared to key targeted audiences
The call center toll free line 0800305555/0800205555 has been a huge tool to mobilise intervention towards Key/Priority populations on various health and HIV prevention services in regions supported by Baylor.
Variables handled by the toll free line usually focus on
• Age group
• Source of information
- Calls per Sex category – Trend of calls Jan-May 2022
NB: The majority of calls were from males with a representation of 69% and females (31%)
Calls per Age category
NB: Majority of calls were from the age group of 20-24 representing 75%, 15-19 were 19% and the minority callers were from the age category of 25+ with 6%
Calls per category
NB: The majority calls were from the category of Men who have sex with Men with a representation of 31%, People who inject drugs 25%, Adolescent girls and Young women 18%, and the minority were female sex workers and Transgender at 13% each respectively.
Calls per Region
NB: Majority of callers were from Fort Portal region with a representation of 31%, central 25%, Hoima 19%, Mbale 13%, whereas Mbarara and Lira was 6% each respectively.
Calls per District
NB: The calls received per district were represented with 13% (Kabarole, Kampala and Mbale each) as well as 6% each for Dokolo, Kyenjojo, Kyegegwa, Kagadi, Kitagwenda, Luwero, Mityana, Kyankwanzi, Masindi and Mbarara districts respectively.
Calls per Issue
NB: The majority of callers were inquiring about PrEP (Eligibility, accessibility, side effects etc.) with a representation of 44%, HIVST 25%, PEP 19% whereas the minority were inquiring about STI management.
Calls per source of information
NB: The majority of callers heard about the toll free line information through word of mouth with a representation of 50%, posters 31%, and radio 19%.
- Calls per referral
NB: Majority of clients were referred to their nearest facilities for further management with a representation of 69% and 31% were referred to the CSOs/ supporting KP programming.
- Trend of calls January-May 2022
NB: Majority of calls came through the month of January (97) because there was aggressive physical marketing in Fort portal region targeting KP/PP.
- There is underutilization of the toll free line among AGYWs.
- There are diverse myths and knowledge gap surrounding PrEP uptake such as its usage, eligibility and side effects. This is contributed by not engaging the end users on demystification of myths and PrEP demand creation through dialogues and hotspot visits.
- There has not been physical marketing of the toll free line among the community since January 2022, this has affected the flow of calls coming through from the targeted populations.
- There are challenges on client follow -up to determine whether they received the service as referred to particular CSOs and health facilities. This is because most of the clients do not use their own name and phones.
- The call center counselor does not have a phone to support offline calls that come through after work.
- There are no IEC materials to promote PrEP and other KP services Among targeted populations in Fort portal region
- There is need to engage peers in different facilities to support the AGYWs in utilization of the toll free and HIV prevention services including PrEP uptake
- There is need to extensively market the toll free line in all regions supported by Baylor Uganda in order to increase calls among our targeted populations. This will be possible if a budget is provided and funds secured at least monthly.
- There is need to continue monthly strengthening of PrEP demand creation and KP services among sub populations such AGYWs, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers so as to demystify myths surrounding PrEP and increase on their PrEP uptake to hit the indicators surrounding PrEP and other HIV prevention services.
- There is need to do a reprint of IEC materials to support the demand creation of KP services among targeted populations. This is because it is not easy to verbal marketing with no materials to show what is being promoted.
- There is need to procure a phone for the call center so as to enable the counselor attend to offline calls
The toll free line is extensively facilitating KP/PPs with consultations and referrals regarding their concerns in every way possible. Therefore, to increase our incoming calls relating to these targets, we need to use aggressive methods to reach out to these categories and spread the gospel of why it is important to utilize the toll free line and keep them engaged once a month through dialogues, hotspot visits and radio talk shows where possible such that they do not forget the relevance of why they should call in to consult about different concerns, get referrals and telecounseling services.