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close this bookA Media Handbook for HIV Vaccine Trials for Africa (UNAIDS, 2001, 45 p.)
close this folderSection 5 - Identifying your public and partners
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe media, editorialists and opinion-shapers
View the documentThe scientific community
View the documentHIV/AIDS organizations
View the documentWomen's groups
View the documentStudent groups
View the documentHuman rights organizations
View the documentVaccine trial workers (primary and secondary)
View the documentReligious organizations
View the documentTraditional authorities
View the documentCommunity-based organizations (CBOs)
View the documentPolicy makers

Traditional authorities

In many developing countries, traditional institutions play a key role in shaping consent and cooperation in the community. In many rural areas, for instance, the only available authority figures may be local chiefs who exercise moderating influence in the community. These traditional leaders must be contacted well in advance and fully briefed about the vaccine trial. Find out in advance the language10 that the leaders are comfortable with and make adequate arrangement to have a mature, competent and local interpreter11 to assist in communicating with these leaders.

10 Note that while the leaders may be fluent in the English language, they may be more comfortable with a different local language for reasons of idiomatic relevance or because certain local words/expressions may lose their meanings, depth and poignancy in the English language.

11 It is better to use an interpreter who is known locally and who enjoys the confidence of the local chiefs.