Background In response to the rapid and complex HIV/AIDS epidemic, EPIC/DOD- Nigeria expanded its focus on family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) to integrate HIV/AIDS prevention and care activities in 2008. Approaches include the establishment of work place programmes. Whereby peer promoters are selected from among the personnel. The peer promoters undergo a 2-week training that enables them to provide FP/RH and HIV/AIDS- related information and services to their co-workers.
Methods The objective of the assessment was to identify the benefits of the workplace Programme as perceived by workplace organisations, peer promoters, and workers. The assessment was designed to obtain qualitative information through focus group discussions and reviews of client registration books.
Results Peer promoters educate workers during tea and lunch breaks. They also provide pills and condoms and refer to nearby clinics for injectables and other services. From 2008 to 2009, they served 2215 new family planning users in two sites mainly in the medical centers of Mogadishu cantonment- Asokoro - Abuja. Uptake of condoms is high-for dual protection against unintended pregnancy and STI/HIV/AIDS. Condoms are also available in workplace restrooms for soldiers and their families, especially at the Defence Health Club (DHC). Peer promoters are more than satisfied to provide this service, and say that since their involvement in the project, they know more about HIV/AIDS and other health issues. The management also acknowledges benefits of the Programme, both financially and in terms of workers health.
Conclusion Many people working in military units and establishments in Nigeria have reproductive health and HIV/AIDS needs. Due to the characteristics and timing of their work, they have limited access to needed FP/RH and HIV/AIDS information and services. Workplace and Programme benefit managers, peer promoters and workers and others they should be expanded in other barracks and defence locations across the nation.
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