The School of Public Health's Center for Communication Programs has won a $16 million grant from the United States Agency for International Development to continue an integrated health project in Uganda.
Other partners in the three-year Delivery of Improved Services for Health project, known as DISH II, are Uganda's Ministry of Health; INTRAH of the University of North Carolina; Management Sciences for Health; and JHPIEGO, the Johns Hopkins Program for International Education in Reproductive Health. JHU/CCP was a partner in the first stage of the program, DISH I, which began in 1995 and was managed by Pathfinder International.
"Care for Others, Care for Yourself" is the slogan for the new project, which will continue to strengthen and expand the "one-stop" health services that enable clients to take care of many of their maternal, infant and reproductive health needs and to get advice about AIDS prevention, nutrition and breastfeeding. Health centers will display the now-familiar rainbow logo, introduced in 1997, that symbolizes integrated health services.
The new project will increase coverage of children's health and provide long-term and permanent contraceptive methods, emergency contraception, emergency obstetric care, post-abortion care and adolescent reproductive health. The project design is built on the principle of integrated quality care through a sustainable decentralized program.
These health services are crucial in a country that has been hit hard by the AIDS epidemic and where less than 20 percent of married women use contraception. For every 1,000 live births, some 81 infants under age 1 die, compared to seven in the United States. Life expectancy at birth is just 42 years--one of the shortest in Africa. Some 20 percent of women ages 15-19 give birth each year--one of the highest teenage birthrates in Africa.
Under DISH I, JHU/CCP launched several communication campaigns to promote, complement and reinforce efforts to train nurses and midwives to provide integrated services. These campaigns covered AIDS prevention for youth, family planning, the family health logo, maternal health, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV counseling and testing and breastfeeding and nutrition. Other DISH partners train doctors and medical assistants in sexually transmitted disease and HIV prevention and treatment and also provide logistics and management information systems.
The JHU/CCP communication campaigns have had an impact. They helped to increase contraceptive prevalence from 12.6 percent in 1995 to 18.6 percent in 1997 and helped increase condom use among men from 7.8 percent to 11.8 percent over the same period. They also contributed to a 55 percent increase in the number of monthly client visits at 75 sentinel health facilities.
For its Uganda HIV counseling and testing campaign, JHU/CCP was named a finalist in the 1999 Globals International Healthcare Communications Competition organized by the New York Festivals. The category was Social Commitment: Consumer Education/Public Service. For more information about JHU/CCP, log onto: http://www.jhuccp.org/.