Ethiopia’s AIDS Resource Center and other HIV activities supported by the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) are now under the purview of the Government of Ethiopia after the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) officially transferred them during a ceremony Thursday, June 30. The transition ceremony included representatives from USAID, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP), where the USAID-funded HC3 project is based.
For the past two years, HC3 has supported the AIDS Resource Center, which has been part of Ethiopia’s response to HIV for more than 12 years. The AIDS Resource Center provides accurate and up-to-date HIV information to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs), researchers, religious leaders, government officials, journalists, people living with HIV, students and members of the public. It is now located at the Ethiopian National Archives Library.
HC3 also oversaw a package of other HIV interventions in Ethiopia primarily supported by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). In addition to the resource center, these activities included the National Wegen HIV/AIDS hotline, the AIDS Resource Library and popular radio programs on HIV prevention. HC3 also provided social and behavior change communication (SBCC) capacity strengthening to the MOH.
Speaking at the ceremony, USAID representative Jeanne Rideout said, “The Government of Ethiopia’s ownership and leadership of the HC3 project transition process made this handover possible and serves as a model for other programs.”
At its peak, the HIV/AIDS hotline fielded some 300,000 calls per month and offered free counseling and psychosocial support for callers affected by HIV/AIDS. The majority of callers were between the ages of 15-29. With the transition of the hotline to the MOH, the Ministry plans to extend the counseling services to include other health areas.
Over the past 10 years, the AIDS Resource Library has provided accurate and up-to-date HIV information to NGOs, CBOs, researchers, religious leaders, government officials, journalists, people living with HIV, students and members of the general public. The clearinghouse of materials is now available at the Ethiopian National Archives Library Association. (ENALA)
One radio program from the project, Betegna, addressed issues of stigma and discrimination because of HIV/AIDS infection. Each week the Ethiopian public heard the voices of people living with HIV/AIDS. The show was broadcast across five radio stations in three languages, Amharic, Afaan Oromo and Tigrigna. Another program, Dagu, focused on the youth population with messages about HIV/AIDS and building life skills and played an instrumental role in reaching in-school youth in Addis Ababa.
For more information about HC3, please contact Amrita Gill-Bailey (firstname.lastname@example.org).