By Dr. Ikoma Obunge, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Nigeria
In Port Harcourt, we organized a series of dissemination activities to share the results of the cellulose sulfate Phase III microbicide study in Nigeria. This trial had flat results, yielding no evidence that the product helped to prevent HIV or that women using the product were at greater risk of HIV acquisition. We decided to organize separate activities for three different categories of stakeholders:
Study participants. Two outreach workers coordinated with the principal investigator or the site coordinator to contact more than 600 former participants by telephone. Text messages were sent as a reminder to all participants who accepted the invitation. On the morning of the dissemination meeting, a “wake-up call” was made as a reminder. Two sessions were held to accommodate the 120 former participants who attended. These sessions included an overview of the study and a summary of the results, then plenty of time for discussion.
Ministry officials, governmental agencies, regulatory authorities, and civil society organizations. The site team organized a meeting with officials of the Rivers State Action on AIDS Committee to develop a list of relevant stakeholders. The Ministry of Health, National Agency for Drug and Control, Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria, and various civil society groups (people living with AIDS, faith-based organizations, youth, and AIDS prevention groups) were invited by letter. The principal investigator presented the study results to the 47 people who attended, then addressed comments and questions from attendees.
The University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital community. We notified hospital management and heads of departments of various units of a presentation of the results. Three co-investigators presented the results to 52 attendees, then answered questions from hospital colleagues.