The GAAC (Grupos Apoio a Adesão Comunitária, or Support Groups for Community Adherence) program is booming across Mozambique, and for good reason. Still in its infancy, the program is designed to reduce high levels of patient abandonment rates by establishing support groups in the community for patients living with HIV and on ART (antiretroviral therapy) treatment and addressing the barriers to continued treatment.
Five or six HIV patients from a similar area of town who have been taking ART medication for more than six months form a group with the help from staff in the hospital. When the group needs medication from the hospital, one member of the group is in charge of entering the hospital, visiting with the medical staff, and acquiring all the medication for every member of the group and then distributing it, reducing the number of patients waiting in the hospital and limiting the negative effects of stigma and travel costs.
The program is extremely successful with plans to expand the program in more rural areas around the country.
Designing has been a stress reliever of mine going back to the days of my advertising major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where I completed designs for the Nebraska Alumni Association and Pinnacle Bank following graduation. When my interests switched to public health, my design work has mainly been for friends, family, and Etsy clients to scratch the itch. Here in Mozambique, designing is my link to my creative side, and I constantly search for ways to connect design, journalism, and health through my projects.
GAAC Logo Concepts
A fellow volunteer and an INGO asked volunteers to attempt a GAAC logo for the program. While these designs are basically just concepts right now, they have been sent to those in charge of the program for potential inclusion in printed material and promotional use. Below are initial ideas for the logo followed by the finished logo (also included at top).
Pyramid of Growth
The idea of the two A’s as two sides of a pyramid with the arrows representing growth, progress, while also resembling two homes was an intriguing idea, but ultimately the obscurity of it would be too difficult for the average community member to see or understand.
Since the program is basically advertised by word of mouth around the hospital and neighborhoods, the idea of a speech bubble incorporating the two arrows (as growth and homes) seemed on a better path toward the final logo design. However, the more and more I look at this, the more it feels like the GAP logo (=whoops).
Speech Bubble + Hospital and House
Using a similar design to the speech bubble one above, this design allows for better understanding through the use of recognizable symbols (cross for the hospital, houses bunched together and the fences for the neighborhoods), but it is still missing the key element that makes GAAC such a successful program: the human element.
Pretty self-explanatory, but the inclusion of the people is easier to understand (also with the cross on the doctor/nurse’s outfit). Still, the design felt like it was now missing the community element, so it seemed like the best route would be to attempt to merge the two.
Community on the Hill
Incorporating the community aspect (the hospital, houses) and also the human aspect (the party under bulb-light!), this design is easier to understand as a community working together toward some common goal. However, since the program is still essentially new in the country, the letters alone don’t convey what the group is about.
GAAC Final Logo
Using the same design from above, the inclusion of the explanation of the acronym provides a better understanding of the purpose of the program and highlights the importance of the word community.
This final logo has been sent off for approval in hopes that it’ll be used to help promote the groups across the country. A friend of mine took a couple photos of the logos being used on promotional fliers in her hospital in the town of Macomia in Cabo Delgado province.
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