The National Malaria Elimination Program (NMEP) commemorated the most recent World Malaria Day with the unveiling of their new national malaria theme song, Play Your Part. The iconic Nigerian pop singer 2face Idibia, along with Sani Danja and Eve B performed the song at the launch of Season Two of Newman Street – a Nollywood ‘entertainment education’ serial drama that weaves in malaria and family planning themes.
Far from being a single day of advocacy for malaria initiatives, the NMEP is celebrating several hard won successes resulting from the partnership between the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) and other implementing partners. Among those successes are:
- Creation and launch of the Advocacy, Communication, and Social Mobilization Guidelines
- Development and finalization of a national harmonized malaria social and behavior change communication (SBCC) strategy
- Community mobilization activities reaching 18 local government areas in two states and over 100,000 people
- SBCC support to the long lasting insecticide-treated mosquito net replacement campaigns
- Support with national malaria SBCC monitoring and evaluation indicator selection
HC3 Nigeria has played a key role in the development and roll out of the NMEP national malaria social and behavior change and communication (SBCC) strategy. One of the theoretical underpinnings of this strategy is the creation of a feedback loop between media activities and messaging at the community level. Interpersonal communication activities at the community level, like house to house visits and community dialogues (pictured here), will be paired with radio dialogues and spots, text messages and nationally televised entertainment education serial dramas to spark discussion about malaria. Read more about HC3’s interpersonal communication and mass media activities below.
[tab title=”Newman Street”]Newman Street is a serial drama that tells stories of fame, love, acceptance and how far people will go to obtain all three. Messages about malaria and family planning are woven into the plot to demonstrate how these particular challenges can be addressed in realistic, believable scenarios. Season One has been aired nationally on the AIT channel and on 17 state level TV stations. Season Two was launched on World Malaria Day and is currently on air. HC3 joined the Newman Street partnership with USAID Nigeria, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, NURHI Project, UNFPA and the DFiD SunMap Project who make this series possible. [/tab]
[tab title=”House to House Visits”]In 2014, 270 community volunteers in Kebbi and Akwa Ibom states worked toward reaching their target of reaching 20 households in the month with malaria messages. In 2015 this monthly target was raised to 30. Each community volunteer is provided with a discussion guide that they bring with them on house visits. During each visit volunteers discuss the benefits of sleeping inside an LLIN, the importance of ANC attendance to receive preventive treatment for malaria during pregnancy and the importance of prompt treatment seeking for fever – as well as complete and correct treatment with ACTs.[/tab]
[tab title=”Community Dialogues”]Community dialogue sessions explore community members’ perceptions of malaria and how it is contextualized within broader community health and disease priorities. The sessions facilitate the promotion of essential attitudinal change and create demand for malaria information and services. During the interactive sessions, communities are asked questions on where to obtain services, myths and misconceptions are clarified, and strategies to overcome obstacles are explored. Between January and March of 2015, HC3 volunteers conducted 155 community dialogue sessions in Kebbi and Akwa Ibom states.[/tab]