Social media technologies offer promising channels for operationalising emergency guidelines, engaging health providers, and ensuring service quality where COVID-19 lockdowns, quarantines, and physical distancing restrictions are in effect. The Provincial Health Office (PHO) is working with the USAID and PEPFAR-supported LINKAGES project to introduce weekly WhatsApp (WA) technical assistance (TA) sessions for all HIV health care workers in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The use of WhatsApp (WA) for health professional education is affordable, familiar, and convenient, fostering peer-to-peer based learning across a variety of mobile operating systems. In March 2020, the PHO and LINKAGES held the first Bimtek Melalui WhatsApp (BMW) TA session for Jakarta HIV health care workers, replacing face-to-face quality assurance and mentoring visits during the #StayAtHome period. Subsequent BMW sessions issued emergency guidance, incorporated programmatic promotional messages and instituted feedback mechanisms to gauge utilization of interventions and monitor human resources for health.
Number of sessions conducted, number of participants engaged, and impact towards HIV service delivery.
Results, Outputs, and Outcomes
Five BMW sessions have now been offered on topics such as ART adherence, multi-month dispensing, and ARV home delivery. Ninety-eight percent of 244 participants engaged with the content within one week of posting. Following BMW sessions, 2-month ARV dispensing rose by 533% to cover 7,420 PLHIV and 84 facilities provided home-based ARV delivery to 1,726 PLHIV. Human resource monitoring illustrated that 12% of health care personnel had been exposed to COVID-19 and/or were under surveillance.
WA can be use as an important social media tool that can help HIV programmers protect the gains made in the HIV response during COVID-19.
Leveraging whatsapp has proven to be beneficial to ensure HIV service delivery during COVID-19 pandemic. The program managed to increase ARV dispensing, leveraged home-based ARV delivery, and increase human resources capacity in healthcare setting.
Best Practice Type
- Strategy / Guidelines
Best Practice Domain
Enhancing retention and long-term engagement in HIV care with viral load suppression
Addressing disparities in access to/utilization of HIV services
Facilitating an effective interface between health services/community services
Linkage to HIV care and support services
Accelerating uptake of proven interventions/policies/diagnostics/medicines
Best Practice Primary Audience