Assessment of Peer-Based and Structural Strategies for Increasing Male Participation in an Antenatal Setting in Lilongwe, Malawi
In sub-Saharan Africa, although male involvement in antenatal care is associated with positive outcomes for HIV-infected women and their infants, men rarely accompany female partners. We implemented a project to increase the number of male partners attending an antenatal clinic at Bwaila Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi. We evaluated changes in the proportion of women who came with a partner over three periods. During period 1 (January 2007 – June 2008) there was didactic peer education. During period 2 (July 2008 – September 2009) a peer-led male-involvement drama was introduced into patient waiting areas. During period 3 (October 2009 – December 2009) changes to clinical infrastructure were introduced to make the clinic more male-friendly. The proportion of women attending ANC with a male partner increased from 0.7% to 5.7% to 10.7% over the three periods. Peer education through drama and male-friendly hospital infrastructure coincided with substantially greater male participation, although further gains are necessary. Afr J Reprod Health 2014; 18: 97-104).
Keywords: HIV, antenatal, male involvement, HIV counseling and testing, disclosure, prevention of mother to child transmission, couple