The objective of the Community Benefits Health pilot in Ghana was to influence women’s social networks and generate community-level support, leading to improved knowledge, attitudes, self-efficacy, and maternal health behaviors. It was determined that using social network analysis to strengthen interventions focused on shifting social norms significantly improved uptake of maternal health and pregnancy behaviors.
It became increasingly clear as Kristina prepared for the arrival of her son that while training and counseling can provide critical information, it sometimes isn’t enough. A health worker or volunteer often has a fleeting and ephemeral interaction with mothers and while their guidance as professionals is certainly respected, a mother’s relationship with her child is intimately personal. This emotional nuance can be overpowering, making information from friends, family, and peers much more trusted.
One in three women worldwide has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused at least once in her lifetime. And women who have experienced gender-based violence (GBV) can face up to three times greater risk for HIV compared to those who have not, according to UNAIDS. GBV is common, affecting both women and men. Children and key populations are also at high risk, and often don’t have access to the resources they need.