The Government of Malawi, through the Ministry of Health, launched its second Malawi Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (MPHIA 2020) survey on January 14, 2020 to assess the current status the HIV epidemic in Malawi.
The new MPHIA 2020 survey will serve as a critical resource for the government, local leaders, policy makers, program implementers, and international health organization to understand how specific markers of HIV epidemic control have progressed and which factors will shape the future of Malawi’s response.
As with all other PHIA surveys, community mobilization is key to inform communities and prepare them for the survey, creating a receptive environment for data collection. In Malawi, social mobilization teams reached communities through establishing relationships with local and traditional leaders; sharing survey details with health facilities; and speaking with community members about the survey prior to the teams arriving in their localities.
To establish good rapport and relations with communities, community mobilizers were selected as trusted members of the communities where the survey is being conducted. They use information, education and communication materials developed specifically for MPHIA 2020, in English, Chichewa and Tumbuka, are being widely shared with community members. When data collection teams arrive, the selected households will then be well-aware of the survey, its benefits, and of the various steps entailed for participation in the survey.
At the MPHIA 2020 national launch, the Honorable Jappie Mhango, Malawi’s Minister of Health and Population, reflected on the importance of the upcoming survey. “Data from MPHIA 2020 will help set funding priorities with respect to HIV and AIDS programming. This information will enable the Ministry of Health to engage in evidence-based policymaking and informed dialogue with the development partners,” he noted.
He also advised MPHIA 2020 survey team members to conduct their work with the utmost professionalism and respect. By being mindful of the homes and communities they will be visiting, survey teams will help participants understand their contributions toward HIV epidemic control and the overall health of all Malawians.
“In the coming months, the MPHIA 2020 teams will visit about 15,000 households around the country to interview approximately 19,000 people. They will build on the experience and expertise garnered from the first survey as well as on the goodwill and commitment of their communities and leaders,” said Wafaa El-Sadr, ICAP’s Global Director, highlighting the importance of community support for the success of MPHIA 2020.
Since January, MPHIA 2020 survey teams have been focused on completing mobilizing communities and collecting data. For the latest updates, visit: https://phia.icap.columbia.edu/countries/Malawi