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Assessment of Peer-Based and Structural Strategies for Increasing Male Participation in an Antenatal Setting in Lilongwe, Malawi

SM Mphonda
NE Rosenberg
E Kamanga
I Mofolo
G Mwale
E Boa
M Mwale
F Martinson
I Hoffman
MC Hosseinipour


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[2]: 97-104).

Keywords: HIV, antenatal, male involvement, HIV counseling and testing, disclosure, prevention of mother to child transmission, couple

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eISSN: 1118-4841