A digital job aide giving community health workers the up-to-date information and resources they need on HIV, sexual health, FGS and COVID-19
Boost is a digital job aide for community health workers and peer educators. It is a mobile-first set of communication tools that enhances their knowledge, skills, and confidence to share accurate and actionable HIV, SRH (Sexual and Reproductive Health), and other primary health information with their communities.
Boost was co-created with over 100 community health workers in Southern Africa to support their specific knowledge needs and ways of working.
The app has made it easy for peer educators to share correct information with their clients.
Millions of individuals and community health workers, in many of the places most affected by HIV, do not have up-to-date knowledge to support their own and their communities’ sexual health.
In sub-Saharan Africa, the impact of HIV and resource limitations mean community health workers play a particularly vital role in the health system and are often the primary source of health information for many.
To play an effective role, they need clear, accessible, and accurate information so they can provide high quality care to their communities. But often community health workers rely on paper-based resources which are difficult to keep up-to-date, or in-person training which varies in terms of regularity and quality.
With access to mobile phones and the internet growing in sub-Saharan Africa, Boost provides a digital alternative specifically developed and tailored to the needs of community health workers and the sub-Saharan African context.
Boost is a quick and convenient way for community health workers to stay up to date and have the information they need to hand throughout the day.
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, female genital schistosomiasis (FGS), COVID-19, and other primary health information, 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.
What I love most about Boost is that it is simple but very educating and it will help me so much in my field.
As of November 2023, Boost had been used by over 100,000 users across sub-Saharan Africa to support their own learning and client interactions.
Boost has been used by self-motivated individual community health workers and peer educators, as well as through organisational adoption of Boost as a programme tool.
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.
Boost is a cost effective, scalable and adaptable product that can help address the knowledge needs of community health workers, peer educators and other outreach workers across sub-Saharan Africa. Building on our learnings from piloting, partnership and online engagement since 2020, we have established clear routes to scale Boost and ensure it reaches the maximum number of people – improving their knowledge, skills, and confidence.