Two hormonal contraceptives, Planyl and Equilibre, are sold in pharmacies nationwide. In order to improve the quality of family planning services, PSI/Guinea has trained pharmacists and clinical health care providers in contraceptive technology and counseling for correct contraceptive use. PSI/Guinea works with the Ministry of Health to ensure wide availability of contraceptives in public and private health facilities. In 2011, PSI/Guinea implemented community-based distribution activities to increase informed demand for reproductive health products and services in collaboration with a national NGO. PSI/Guinea trained 100 community-based agents and equipped them with promotional and behavior change communication (BCC) support materials and products for distribution in rural areas. Additionally, 14 NGO workers were trained in BCC and in facilitating community-based teams of agents.
Diarrhea Treatment: Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) and Zinc
In 1997, PSI/Guinea began programs to prevent diarrheal diseases and the treatment of dehydration caused by diarrhea by promoting Orasel brand oral rehydration therapy and oral rehydration salts. In 2005, PSI/Guinea obtained approval from the Ministry of Health to market Orasel privately in commercial outlets. Orasel was replaced by Orasel+Zinc in September 2012. The new branded product is financed through PSI/Guinea’s principal donor, KfW. With the third phase of KfW funding, the new zinc component is packaged jointly with an orange flavored oral rehydration salt to combat dehydration during diarrhea. The zinc component helps to prevent future cases of diarrhea, reduces risk of pneumonia, accelerates growth and stimulates appetite. Orasel+Zinc is marketed to mothers and caregivers of children under the age of five.
Orasel+Zinc will be distributed all over the country through both commercial and public health sectors. Orasel+Zinc will also be available at the community level through a pilot community-based distribution project launched in 2012 in two provinces Boké (Lower Guinea) and Dalaba (Middle Guinea), and three provinces Beyla (Forest Guinea), Mandiana and Dabola (Upper Guinea) through a MCHIP/JHPIEGO Guinea program.
Diarrhea Prevention: Safe Water
With the launch and distribution of the water disinfectant Sur’Eau in 2006, PSI/Guinea has made significant contributions to the reduction of diarrheal diseases. Since the population of Guinea has little access to safe drinking water, this product is a solution for households throughout the country to obtain potable water. PSI/Guinea initially piloted the product in 2006, with financing from a cooperative partnership between PSI/Guinea and the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, and has expanded its distribution nationwide since 2008. Given the high incidence of diarrhea, water borne ailments, and the almost annual cholera epidemics in Guinea, PSI/Guinea successfully piloted the project in selected areas of the country. Sur’Eau, now financed through KfW, has enabled PSI/Guinea to work closely with UNICEF to prevent the spread of cholera throughout Guinea and is now a principal component of PSI/Guinea’s portfolio of national social marketing products. Sur’Eau is also available at the community level through a pilot project launched in 2012, of community based distribution in the two provinces of Boké (Lower guinea) and Dalaba (Middle Guinea).
Project “Faison Ensemble” (Infant and Maternal Health)
As a member of a consortium of partners led by the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) and financed through USAID since 2007, PSI trains and reinforces the capacity of health personnel concerning the integrated management of diseases for newborns and children, and family planning. PSI also provides trainings for community outreach workers on family planning and environmental health.
Condom Social Marketing
Since 2007, PSI/Guinea has been focused on the distribution of its Prudence Plus condoms in the private sector. PSI/Guinea operates a condom social marketing program that includes a nationwide distribution network of 4 commercial distributors, and over 50 wholesalers, supplying over 3,500 retailers of its branded condom Prudence Plus. Prudence Plus is now widely available in rural and urban Guinea.
Targeting High-Risk Populations with BCC
From 2005 - 2011, PSI/Guinea trained peer-educators to implement behavior change communication activities for programs that targeted high-risk groups, including commercial sex workers, truckers, and youth. This program included workplace interventions for miners, truck drivers, and uniformed personnel. PSI/Guinea was a partner in the regional PSAMAO program, working to raise awareness amongst long-distance truck drivers.
From 2004- 2009, in collaboration with the Guinean armed forces and the US Department of Defense, PSI/Guinea worked to build the capacity of military personnel to train their own peer-educators, in addition to developing a written policy on HIV prevention, which has been approved and signed by the Government of Guinea. PSI/Guinea is looking forward to partnering with the US Department of Defense in October 2012 to resume its HIV prevention activities with the military. Following the success of PSI/Guinea’s activities with the military, the Ministry of Interior solicited a similar intervention targeting the police.
PSI/Guinea’s youth-focused program partners with the Minister of Youth and popular musicians and personalities to promote safe sexual practices among those under 25.
Project “Faisons Ensemble” (VCT and HIV Awareness)
As a member of a consortium of partners led by the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) and financed through USAID since 2007, PSI/Guinea implements projects that aim to inform and empower the people of Guinea to combat and prevent the spread of HIV / AIDS. Through this partnership, PSI/Guinea supports 34 voluntary counseling centers and testing for HIV throughout the country. By utilizing a governance-based approach whereby community organizations join hands with the local health officials to support and oversee operations, the project ensures that the centers function sustainably. The project is also helping to produce HIV/AIDS-focused radio and TV spots of leaders, including the prime minister, pledging to fight the epidemic. In addition, PSI/Guinea uses youth-focused methods often featuring popular Guinean musicians, trained in HIV prevention education, to reach both youth and adults with AIDS prevention messages.
Female Genital Cutting
Female genital mutilation is a grave issue in Guinea, touching 96% of women who make up 51% of the population. PSI/Guinea, with the support of KfW, as well as with funding from USAID through Pathfinder International, has launched an ambitious program to address this issue. PSI/Guinea’s strategy focuses on the involvement of religious and secular opinion leaders—such as the internationally acclaimed Guinean singer, Sekouba Bambino—who are actively and publicly engaging in the program. Launched only recently, PSI/Guinea is already considered the leader in this health area by all partners. Interpersonal communication activities led by PSI/Guinea in Middle Guinea and Upper Guinea are implemented through the strong engagement of religious, community, and traditional leaders.
In 2009, PSI conducted its seminal TRaC study on this issue, the results of which have already been lauded by other national and international partners such as Pathfinder, TOSTAN, the Ministry of Women and Children and the Ministry of Public Health and Hygiene. In 2011, PSI conducted its second TRaC study; according to the results of this study the intention to not excise girls aged 4-12 years increased 8%. Of care-givers to girls 4-12 years old, 39% did not intend to practice excision in 2009, while 47% did not intend to practice excision in 2011.
PSI/Guinea has trained local NGO workers, developing and reinforcing their communication skills, who are implementing interpersonal communication activities with target groups. In addition to having completed activities in Middle and Upper Guinea, in 2012 PSI/Guinea extended its reach to the Forest Region after determining a lack of interventions concerning female genital cutting in the region.
PSI/Guinea and its partners conduct advocacy activities with the Ministry of Women and Children and the Ministry of Public Health and Hygiene in the capital Conakry. In Middle Guinea, Upper Guinea, Lower Guinea and the Conakry area, PSI/Guinea also conducts community mobilization activities.
Free Distribution of Long-Lasting Insecticide-Treated Mosquito Nets (LLINs)
Throughout 2009, PSI/Guinea became instrumental in the mobilization of resources and implementation of the integrated measles vaccination campaign sponsored by the Ministry of Health, UNICEF, and in partnership with CRS and Plan Guinea. This campaign also targeted the distribution of LLINs to 80% of children under five and 80% of all pregnant women. PSI/Guinea distributed approximately 426,000 mosquito nets directly to beneficiaries in six prefectures throughout Guinea. In addition, PSI/Guinea conducted pre- and post-distribution campaigns to ensure the proper use of LLINs in its regions of intervention.
In 2013, PSI/Guinea plans to launch a LLINs campaign with the support of the Global Fund in partnership with CRS. PSI/Guinea plans to distribute 780,200 nets in 5 prefectures, covering 433,444 people. The distribution will cover the Administrative Region of Kankan in Upper Guinea, targeting the 277,420 children under 5 and 95,953 women in charge of children under 5. This campaign will also be accompanied by mass media communications.
Project “Faisons Ensemble” (President’s Malaria Initiative)
As a member of a consortium of partners led by Research Triangle Institute (RTI) and funded by USAID since 2011 through the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), PSI/Guinea contributes to strengthening the capacity of health personnel in the use of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for malaria¸ and community workers in the management of uncomplicated cases of malaria and BCC in the fight against malaria. PSI/Guinea also collaborates with health and hygiene committees through community awareness campaigns on the prevention of malaria in areas supported by PMI.