Given our study’s focus on the implementation of new intervention models, we believe that community engagement is vital to the success of our programs. Our community engagement activities include meetings with a stakeholder committee made up of members of the KCMC Community Advisory Board (CAB) for HIV, local health professionals, staff from non-governmental organizations, and government administrators.
In May 2017, we hosted a symposium of stakeholders to share ongoing research on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) in Tanzania. The symposium, which included representatives from the Tanzanian Ministry of Health, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), and local health facilities participated, assisted various organizations in sharing findings, coordinating research activities, and discussing the future of PMTCT care in the region.
The final report from the symposium can be found here:
PMTCT symposium – final report
In August 2018, we hosted a second symposium of stakeholders to share our preliminary research findings on PMTCT in the Kilimanjaro Region and solicit input on our intervention to address HIV stigma in the context of PMTCT. The meeting included presentations, group work, and discussion to share feedback and ideas. Representatives from the Tanzanian Ministry of Health, EGPAF, local healthcare facilities, and CAB participated.
The team also conducted feedback meetings with the staff of the healthcare facilities that participated in the research study to share results and invite conversations about challenges to PMTCT implementation, clinic efforts to improve care engagement, and ways to address HIV stigma.
In addition to our community engagement activities, the Option B+ study places a central focus on capacity building among research team members. This includes within-team training on a variety of research and implementation topics, as well as supporting team members to pursue new professional opportunities through mentorship, networking, and knowledge-sharing.