Mass Media Campaign on HIV

NARRATIVE REPORT

1.    Background:

There are 14 reported HIV positive cases in the Maldives till date and as of May 2009, 239 expatriate workers have been reported. All infections were acquired through heterosexual route of transmission. Compared to many countries in the region, Maldives has a very low prevalence of HIV. The challenge for the Maldives is to ensure it remains a low HIV prevalence country in spite of increasinghigh risk behaviors among some population groups.

2.The Challenge:

The low rate of HIV infections in the Maldives leads people to feel safe in spite of increasing risk behaviors. The challenge for the Maldives is change its risk perception and behavior, and to promote prevention to remain a low HIV prevalence country.

3.Target Audience:

The target audience for the production is people most at risk (Injecting Drug Users, Sex Workers, Men who have Sex with Men) and other groups vulnerable to HIV in the Maldives (such as Youth, Migrant Workers, Seafarers, Resort Workers) while avoiding singling out or labeling of any groups seen to be at risk (such as sex workers, men who have sex with men or drug users) or people who have HIV. However, since the mass media campaign will be broadcast, it may be seen by any member of the community, including children.

4. Production Objectives:

People who view the production will:

  • Know there is risk of HIV and other diseases in the Maldives.
  • Know how HIV is transmitted and that prevention is important.
  • Feel empowered and encouraged to protect themselves and their partners from HIV.
  • Feel empowered and encouraged to utilize established VCT services.

5. Production Detail:

The mass media and print media materials are shaped based on the risk behavior research done in the country. The objectives of the products are based on the audience research and the identified need to change key knowledge, attitudes and behavioral norms.

The production of the Mass media campaign initiated from June 2009. A panel was selected which included Behaviour Change Communications expert Dr. Barbara A.K Franklin to hire agencies for the development of the TV and radio spots. The whole campaign is divided in to 4 phases which

Most importantly all the items are very much influenced by the findings of “Behavioural and Biological Survey 2008” and the above mentioned audience analysis “Konme Kamehves Vedhaane”. lead to an improved environment for HIV prevention in the Maldives. Behaviour change communication, beginning with awareness of the risk to social support. Pre-testing is done for most of the products to ensure that the audience accepts the messages given by both the media products. Pre-testing for the TV products are done on a story board/ script level. Also pre- testing is done on the different types of leaflets; for

youth, injecting drug users, multilingual leaflets in Bengali, Sinhalese, Tamil, Telugu, Nepalese and English.

The three types of poster produced are also pre-tested. For pre-testing the relevant target groups are taken for each type of product and the ages covered are from 15 to 40 years of age.

Collectables/giveaways like bags, CD pack and flip flops are produced to be used on different occasions.

Table 1 and 2: Details of the pre-testing:

Spot

No. of times pre-tested

Version

No. of people

1

2

Dice

12

yes

30

Compass (IDU)

7

yes

32

Networking

11

29

If only woman

7

yes

20

If only man

4

yes

10

If only band

7

yes

31

If only baby

7

yes

21

Classroom

5

yes

16

Office

5

yes

17

Basketball

6

yes

16

Poster

No. of times pre-tested

Version

No. of people

YOUTH

7

Ring fling

25

7

heart

25

GENERIC

3

flag

7

3

scare

7

IDU

1

syringe

10

1

paper doll

10

 In the production phase of the media products, persons from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs were met with to find out if they want to incorporate any message to the ads as they were culturally sensitive in nature. And the appropriate members from the Ministry of Health and Family also approved the ads to be broadcasted nationally.

6. Mass media campaign launch on HIV prevention, “HIV ah huras alhamaa”:

The Mass media campaign launch on HIV prevention is a joint effort of Department of Drug Prevention and Rehabilitation Services (DDPRS), Center for Community Health and Disease Control (CCHDC), UNDP and Society for Health Education (SHE) with support from the Global Fund in the Maldives. To prepare for the event an event organizer; HUBB was hired. They were given the theme of “HIV prevention” for the event by the overall design consultant; DOMUS. Based on the theme, both the groups developed all the necessary materials to make the th launch a success. Hiriya School was booked for 19 November 2009 from 20:00-22:30hrs. The invitees include members from the relevant ministries, members from the CCM, UNDP, High commissions, different NGO’s and the media. The invitations were sent out and the final preparations for the event were done. The images show the preparation done in the Hiriya school hall The launching ceremony was inaugurated by the arrival of the Chief Guest; Honorouble Minister of Health and family, Dr. Aminath Jameel and Madam Ilham Hussain. Present in the event are Minister of Education, Dr. Musthafa Luthufee, Officer in Charge- UNDP , Dr.Arun Kashyap, High Commissionaires, distinguished members from the government , members from NGO’s and the media. On this Occasion, the publication of “Konmekamehves Vedhaane”: a comprehensive audience analysis of HIV risk in the Maldives”was launched by Madam Ilham Hussain. In addition the presentation of the compiled mass and print media products was viewed as part of the event. Honourable minister of Health and Family, Dr.Aminath Jameel giving the key note address

7. Action plan on broadcasting:

The team met with the leading broadcasting agencies in the country to discuss the prospect of showing the PSA’s from these agencies. Over several meetings, prices were negotiated and agreements were made with 3 different agencies. Maldives National Broadcasting Corporation (MNBC) which constitute of Television Maldives (TVM), Voice of Maldives (VOM), Youth TV and Rajje’FM. Also agreement was made for DhiTV and DhiFm. Agreements for all the agencies are made only for the phase 1 of the mass media campaign. Each phase is designed to be broadcasted for the duration of 3 months.

Table 3: shows the duration assigned to each agency for phase 1.

Broadcasting agency Commencing date End date
DhiTV 15.02.2010 15.05.2010
DhiFM 05.03.2010 05.06.2010
VOM 11.03.2010 11.06.2010
Youth TV 11.03.2010 11.06.2010
Raajje’FM 11.03.2010 11.06.2010
TVM 20.03.2010 20.06.2010

8. Distribution of print items:

Leaflets (for youth and IDU’s) and posters were mainly distributed to the main hospitals in Male’,regional hospitals, hospitals and health centers where VCT services are provided. Also leaflets and posters are given to various clinics in Male’, pharmacies, ministries, different NGO’s in Male’ and other islands.

Shopping bags are given to Agora (major supermarket in Male’ with two different branches) to be distributed with any purchase made. Also these bags are given to a variety of other shops as well. CD pack, pouch bag, flip flops are given to global fund supported programmes to be distributed at a special event or function. Multilingual leaflets are to be distributed by the migrant peer educators while conducting their outreach work.

Table 4: Print item production details

No. Item Quantity
1 Poster (youth) 1000.00
2 Poster (IDU) 1000.00
3 Poster (generic) 1000.00
4 CD Packs 2000.00
5 Shopping bags 2500.00
6 Flip-flop 2500.00
7 Bag with pouch 800.00
8 Leaflets (youth) 5000.00
9 Leaflets (IDU) 15500.00
10 Leaflets (Migrants/English) 5000.00
11 Leaflets (Migrants/Tamil) 6500.00
12 Leaflets (Migrants/Telugu) 8000.00
13 Leaflets (Migrants/Sinhalese) 4500.00
14 Leaflets (Migrants/Bengali) 9000.00
15 Leaflets (Migrants/Nepali) 4000.00

9. Challenges/lessons learnt:

To implement a mass media and print media campaign to such a large degree, great effort was put out by the team members over a large period of time. And the team faced many obstacles throughout the process. Some of these elements are highlighted

below:

1. The media products were divided in to 4 phases according to the products submitted by four different agencies at the very initial stage. As the practiced norm usually is handling a single project by one agency, some discrepancy occurred in the communication of ideas and while creating an overall unifying theme for the campaign.

2. Pre-tests had to be done to a large amount for both the media and print items and it takes a considerable amount of time and effort. Due to the limited human resources,  this activity proved to be quite tedious.

3. Initially, a huge delay in handing over the print items to an agency, due to the unclear procedures of the procurement in UNDP. Once an agency got selected as there was no contract made, the goods produced failed to be delivered for the needed time and also it was produced not up to the proper specification. As a result there was no way for the produced items to be sent back.

4. Securing air time at a popular hour from the major broadcasting agencies proved to be quite challenging, especially from TVM. Also the rates are high even though these are for awareness purposes.

5. Due to the delay in sending out the invitation cards for the media campaign launch, the turn out for the event was less.

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