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School and Program Updates

School and Program Updates

Johns Hopkins: ‘Making Male Circumcision the Norm’ in Rural Mozambique

In 2014, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), partnered with the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP) to increase demand for voluntary medical male circumcision, or VMMC as it is known. At the time, the rate of male circumcision in parts of inland Mozambique was far lower than needed to help control the nation’s human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic, especially among adolescents and men in their 20s.

Through a combination of social and behavior change strategies, the number of men ages 15 to 29 in Tete and Manica provinces undergoing circumcision increased nearly five times, from 21,824 in FY15 to 100,636 just two years later, a new USAID case study shows. CCP is based at the Johns Hopkin Bloomberg School of Public Health.

To generate demand for VMMC and help connect men to services, the Mozambique work has been done under the overarching branding “Faz a circuncisão. Torna-te um novo homem,” or “Do the circumcision. Become a new man,” which was based on the findings of formative research conducted by CCP. The Ministry of Health fully adopted it in 2015.

To get the word out, CCP not only engaged mobilizers to work directly in the communities but also developed call-in radio programs, trained operators of a VMMC call center hotline, upgraded in-service counseling and communication skills, improved clinic signage, and drafted materials designed to improve provider training and address clients’ specific concerns while highlighting personal benefits.

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