This week (Sept. 16 – 20, 2013) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) is working with USAID’s Ethiopian mission and the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) to host the first global social and behavior change communication (SBCC) workshop related to malaria.
PMI supports SBCC and community mobilization activities in all 19 of its focus countries by providing funds for conducting needs assessments and formative research, developing national communication strategies to address key malaria behaviors, and tailoring messages to target audiences using appropriate channels.
Some examples of SBCC activities for malaria control include interpersonal communication, such as household visits; mass/mid media and entertainment-education, such as radio spots and drama shows; training health workers, community and religious leaders, and journalists in behavior change; and printed messages that accompany packaged insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) and artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACTs). These activities have helped increase correct and consistent use of ITNs, acceptance of indoor residual spraying (IRS), and adherence to treatment and prevention therapies, all of which contribute to reducing countries’ malaria burden.
Participants at the week-long workshop include Mission staff from each participating country; key malaria SBCC implementing partners from PMI countries; and the SBCC lead in the national malaria control programs. The workshop goals include:
- Sharing updates and information about current activities and PMI approaches for SBCC
- Discussing program challenges and offering solutions
- Reviewing monitoring and evaluation (M&E) practices for malaria SBCC
- Identifying best practices and lessons learned from PMI SBCC programs and how they can be incorporated in existing and future BCC interventions
- Brainstorming and drafting SBCC action plans, work plans, messages and/or activities
- Compiling SBCC resources and tools to apply to country programs
At the end of the week, each country team will develop at least one SBCC country action plan addressing a key area of prioritized need.