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December 22, 2005                                                                            

Center for Communication Programs Awarded $30 Million to Promote Health Products and Services in Uganda Using a Consumer-Driven Approach

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Communication Programs (CCP) has been awarded $30 million by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to implement an innovative five-year health promotion initiative in Uganda called AFFORD.

AFFORD is designed to boost the growth and development of the market for health-related products and services, such as HIV/AIDS counseling and testing, malaria drugs, long-lasting insecticide-treated nets, multivitamins with zinc, and condoms. The program will increase the accessibility and affordability of such products and services through innovative approaches that engage the private sector. It will also work to encourage and sustain healthy behaviors, and strengthen Uganda’s ability to deliver products, services and communication support.

“AFFORD will be based on a consumer-driven approach to health marketing,” said CCP director Jane Bertrand, PhD, MBA. “Its goal is to empower Ugandan families and communities to protect and improve their health; create vibrant and expanding markets for health products and services; and steadily improve consumer access to affordable products and services.”

In addition to CCP, the AFFORD team includes the Futures Group, the U.K.-based Malaria Consortium, and three Uganda-based organizations: Pulse Communication, Aclaim Africa, and the Communication for Development Foundation of Uganda. Together with its partners, CCP will create the Uganda Health Marketing Group (UHMG), an autonomous organization based in Uganda.

CCP will help UHMG establish strong relationships with Uganda’s private sector--both commercial and nongovernmental--to procure, package, distribute and promote health products. The project will also work to create demand for health products and services through integrated marketing and social communication programs. And it will “package” products and services together under a common wellness and healthy lifestyle platform. 

With representatives in more than 30 countries, Johns Hopkins' CCP partners with organizations worldwide to design and implement strategic communication programs that influence political dialogue, collective action, and individual behavior change; enhance access to information and the exchange of knowledge to improve health and health care; and conduct research to guide program design, evaluate impact, and advance knowledge and practice in health communication. For more information, visit www.jhuccp.org.

Public Affairs media contact for the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs: Kim Martin at 410-659-6140 or kmartin@jhuccp.org.
Public Affairs media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons or Kenna Lowe at 410-955-6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu.