Giving community health workers the information and resources they need on HIV, sexual health and COVID-19
Boost is a digital, mobile-first set of communication tools that aim to increase the knowledge, skills and confidence of community health workers in Southern Africa, so they can provide high quality care and support to their communities.
The app has made it easy for peer educators to share correct information with their clients.
Boost was designed and developed in collaboration with more than 100 community health workers from Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Boost brand provides easy, up-to-date, visual and interactive materials on HIV, sexual health and COVID-19, available across a range of platforms. It supports community health workers’ ongoing learning and equips them with fun, interactive tools that they can use and share with their clients and peers.
Go to the KaiOS store to download Boost for feature phones
Send questions to the WhatsApp chatbot on +1 989 747 1929
Community health workers support millions of people with, or at risk of HIV in Southern Africa. They are often people’s first point of contact with the health system. To play an effective role, they need clear, accessible, and accurate information so they can provide high quality care to their communities.
Often community health workers rely on paper-based resources which are difficult to keep up-to-date, or in-person trainings which vary in terms of regularity and quality. There is also a lack of digital information resources specifically developed and tailored to the needs of community health workers and the Southern African context.
With access to mobile phones growing in Southern Africa, Boost provides a digital alternative: a more convenient way for community health workers to stay up to date and have the information they need to hand throughout the day.
What I love most about Boost is that it is simple but very educating and it will help me so much in my field.
At the end of January 2022, Boost had been used by 14,450 community health workers across east and southern Africa to support their learning and client interactions.
As part of our work with OPHID in Zimbabwe, we conducted a survey in 2021 among 485 of their community health workers who have used Boost. The survey showed:
These findings highlight the importance of innovative partnerships between HIV programme implementers like OPHID and digital communications developers like Avert to reduce the digital divide and increase equitable access to accurate and engaging health information for community health workers.