KENERELA partnered with IAVI to conduct baseline dialogue training that sought to address the issue of HIV vaccines and also understand the knowledge, attitude and practices of religious leaders so as to galvanize them to be a voice towards stigma reduction.Studies conducted within faith communities have found out that there exists a knowledge gap in articulation of new prevention technologies among religious groups. This makes it difficult for them to reach out to the over 97% of Kenyans who subscribe to a certain religion. In order to overcome existing barriers to access, uptake and appreciation of the place of new prevention technologies by masses, religious leaders’ capacity need to built so that they can become ambassadors of the same.The place of religious leaders and the unique role they play in the society gives them an opportunity to be agents of change in shaping society’s perspectives towards vaccines. As trusted and respected leaders of influence, religious leaders can, collectively, arrest HIV related stigma towards new HIV prevention technologies. By building the capacity of religious leaders living with and personally affected by HIV as ‘Heralds of Change’ would increase their ability to address the above issues many of them having experienced stigma in various forms.
Objectives of partnership
- To disseminate the information to the religious leaders on the HIV vaccines and initiate dialogue among the leaders within their faith communities
- To cluster pre baseline knowledge, attitude that the faith communities have in regards to HIV vaccines.
- Build consensus around an advocacy agenda on the new preventive measures on HIV
The expected outcome of the meeting includes;
- Conducting a baseline survey focusing on the existing knowledge, attitude and develop a possible advocacy agenda based on the findings for future reference
- Development of appropriate advocacy agenda for use by religious leaders on the new HIV prevention technologies
- Developing a safe platform for faith communities to give their opinions on issues of the new HIV vaccines
- Development of data for use in advocacy in local, national, regional and international forums.
The way forward
- Conduct a consensus for the baseline(INERELA+KENYA) has already conducted the survery and the dissemination process is underway.
- Enhance the roles and responsibilities among religious in ensuing effective baseline survey among faith communities
Overall Project Completion