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AIC Uganda & Text to Change @ Unicef/Worldbank Roundtable
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AIC Uganda & Text to Change @ Unicef/Worldbank Roundtable


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Unicef/Worldbank Roundtable. …

Unicef/Worldbank Roundtable.
Evidence-informed actions for children and AIDS during times of economic crises 15 December, 2009 – Amsterdam. This is the presentation by Aids Information Center Uganda and Text to Change on using mobile phones to fight HIV/AIDS.

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  • 1.
    • Using Mobile Phones to Increase Uptake of HCT Services:
    • Pilot Project Uganda
    • Raymond BYARUHANGA 1 , Hajo van Beijma 2 ,
    • 1 AIDS Information Centre, Kampala, Uganda
    • 2 Text to Change, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • 2.
    • A Ugandan national NGO established in 1990 to provide HIV counselling and testing services and prevention information on HIV.
    • Integrated services to include TB/HIV management, STI management, CD4 counts, Septrin Prophylaxis, youth friendly services including family planning, psycho social support through post test clubs and capacity building.
    AIC Introduction
  • 3.
    • Over 2.6M people counselled and tested using different approaches
    • Annually contributes 26 – 30% of the total number of people counselled and tested in Uganda
    • 33,014 people have accessed CD4 services since 2004
    • 52,869 have benefited from TB/HIV services since 2001
    • 8,947 have received septrin since 2004.
    AIC Programme Activities
  • 4.
    • Text to Change (TTC) is a Netherlands based organization working in the least developed nations.
    • It uses text, voice and data services via mobile phones to disseminate and collect health related information.
    • With our partners (UNICEF, AIC, FHI, Telecom companies) we develop innovative advocacy campaigns that use the latest insights in marketing adapted to the developing country context.
    • TTC currently works in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Namibia
    Text To Change Introduction
  • 5.
    • Background
      • 8 million people have mobile phones (UCC 2008)
      • SMS messages have become popular among youth
      • There was need to design interventions to reach many people with HIV related information and motivate them to go for HIV prevention services.
    • Objectives
      • To increase the HIV&AIDS knowledge among individuals including seeking HIV prevention messages
      • To encourage and increase uptake of HIV Counseling and Testing services and create demand for HIV
      • services
    Pilot background and Objectives
  • 6. Intervention
    • Piloted under the slogan ‘don’t guess the answers; learn the truth about AIDS’.
    • Radio talk shows were made to sensitize the public.
    • An introductory SMS was sent to subscribers asking if they would like to participate in a free interactive quiz about HIV, with the incentive of handsets and airtime as rewards for correct answers.
    • Three questions on basic facts of HIV/AIDS were sent each week; if the recipient answered correctly, a confirmation SMS was sent and guaranteed free HIV testing and entering a draw.
    • If he/she answered incorrectly, a rectifying message was sent
  • 7.
    • In Mbarara 2,500 (17%) of the 15,000 subscribers responded to the questions.
    • 255 participants (183 males and 72 females) turned up for HIV counseling and testing at AIC Mbarara and others went to other HCT partner organizations in the district.
    • In Arua 2,100 (21%) of the 10,000 subscribers responded to the SMS quiz. Of those who responded 677 (376 Males and 301 Females) turned up for HCT at AIC Arua branch.
    • Arua served 6,371 clients compared to 3,413 the previous month indicating a 46% increase.
    • HIV knowledge levels among the respondent were estimated at 53%.
  • 8. Target population who came for HIV services.
  • 9.
    • “ This program has helped me and my family to know more about HIV/AIDS because each time I got the message, I called my children to help me read and translate the message in lugbara so that we get the correct answer. I am happy that I got to know my HIV status at Kuluva Hospital.”
    • “ I had never made-up my mind to test for HIV until I received more than four messages, each encouraging me to test for HIV at AIC Arua. Now that I know my HIV status, I think I will control my lifestyle”
    • “ Because of my busy schedule in school I could not get time to come and test. However when I received more than 10 text messages, I decided to answer the quiz and come to test today”.
    Clients’ Testimonies
  • 10. AIC VCT approaches
    • A total of 8 million (62%) Ugandans out of 13 million (15-49 yrs) own mobile phones. This makes phone messages a feasible tool for community mobilization, sensitization, and utilization of HIV&AIDS services.
    • Compared to radio programming and open drama shows, mobile phone messaging is cost effective as it targeted to the particular youth, more interactive and less costly now that mobile phones are cheap.
  • 11. AIC VCT approaches
    • The program is cost effective, improves the HIV knowledge levels and can be replicated in other health care services.