Improving Female Involvement in Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision in Uganda
The USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project in Uganda has been working collaboratively with 10 implementing partners (IPs) to carry out voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) for HIV prevention programs since 2013. ASSIST’s objective was to build capacity of IP, district and health facility staff to improve the quality and safety of voluntary medical male circumcision services in Uganda. Initially, 30 health facilities were involved and progressively the activity was scaled up to additional health facilities. There were 19 health facilities in the first wave and 33 in the second.
VMMC faces some challenges such as demand creation for services, adherence to six weeks abstinence after circumcision, return for post-operative review, and use of other HIV prevention methods after VMMC. Literature has shown that female involvement in VMMC can play a large role in addressing these challenges so QI teams set about to increase female partner involvement in VMMC.
The tested changes section of this change package provide guidance to health facility teams on improving female involvement in VMMC, the authors recommend that to improve female involvement in VMMC, health unit teams should implement changes under the following four aims below, which were determined based on the gaps found to affect female involvement in VMMC at the health facilities:
- Improving the competence of health providers to provide adequate and consistent information/messages on involving women in VMMC
- Promoting the provision of female friendly services during VMMC services
- Focus on community sensitization and mobilization on involving women in VMMC
- Improving data capture of female participation in VMMC