Publications & Reports

'Stret tokers'--taking sexual health promotion to the village level in East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea.

Natoli LJ, Wambo G, Gabong R, Kavang E, Luana S, Sawa A, Supsup H, Jackson E
Burnet Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


The East New Britain Sexual Health Improvement Project (ENBSHIP) partners with the East New Britain Provincial Health Office. The project supports initiatives at the provincial, district and community levels to strengthen health services and expand the community response to sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Community mobilization is based on a lengthy engagement process with local leadership structures at district, local level government and village levels. At the village level, ENBSHIP works through community activators called ‘stret tokers’ [straight talkers]. These individuals are selected by their communities and trained to raise awareness of sexually transmitted infections and build a bridge between communities and health services. Training includes simple, gender-sensitive community development principles and basic information about STI transmission and prevention. ‘Stret tokers’ are supported to understand the complex issues that underpin STI transmission and treatment-seeking behaviour, and to mobilize their communities to respond to these issues. ENBSHIP has highlighted the value of taking sexual health promotion to the village level while also strengthening health services. The initiative has been met with great enthusiasm and has received excellent support from host communities. At the same time there have been many challenges and lessons learned of potential value to other community-based initiatives in Papua New Guinea.

Full text of this article is available at


  • Journal: Papua and New Guinea Medical Journal
  • Published: 01/09/2011
  • Volume: 54
  • Issue: 3-4
  • Pagination: 123-131