Using Health Communication to Make an Impact on Malaria

Malaria Community Worker

HC3 supported the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative’s (PMI) goal of significantly reducing deaths from malaria in high burden African countries. A growing body of evidence supports the role social and behavior change communication (SBCC) programs play in malaria prevention and treatment. To effectively integrate evidence-based SBCC into global and national malaria control strategies and policies, HC3 built capacity in SBCC among malaria experts, clearly identified SBCC processes for the malaria community to follow and established norms that encourage the consistent use of SBCC in malaria programs.

Building a Malaria SBCC Community

HC3 strengthened the capacity of local organizations to design, implement, manage and evaluate evidence-based SBCC interventions that address malaria. The project convened 84 participants from 20 countries for the first PMI SBCC partners meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in September 2013. The project helped revitalize the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) SBCC Community of Practice, a valuable resource for malaria prevention professionals. HC3 made use of Springboard for Health Communication Professionals to encourage those working in malaria to exchange lessons learned, best practices and experiences as well as malaria SBCC resources within and across countries. Springboard is a virtual platform for SBCC professionals to build an online community of practice that is supported by face-to-face activities.

Collecting Malaria Tools and Resources

To help further professional development in malaria SBCC, HC3 curated technical as well as monitoring and evaluation (M&E) guidelines and resources already developed and approved by the RBM and PMI community of partners. To accomplish this, HC3 leveraged Springboard and Health COMpass. Health COMpass is an online resource that houses best practice SBCC tools and program examples.

Strengthening Malaria SBCC Capacity

In 2013, HC3 reviewed the Zimbabwe National Malaria Control Program’s (NMCP) communication strategy and helped draft implementation guidelines for malaria SBCC activities. The guidelines are designed to improve the quality and impact of SBCC programs by ensuring that all SBCC implementing partners in Zimbabwe use evidence-based strategies.

HC3 developed and implemented a standardized survey protocol and questionnaire to measure knowledge, perceptions and beliefs related to malaria, insecticide-treated nets (ITNs), indoor residual spraying (IRS), malaria diagnosis and treatment. The malaria survey was used in Liberia and Madagascar. After the survey results are evaluated, HC3 developed guidance to more accurately inform SBCC strategies in endemic countries.

HC3 also worked in Nigeria at the national and state level to strengthen skills and organizational development capacity to develop and implement SBCC initiatives for malaria prevention and control.

Better Malaria SBCC Tools and Systems

HC3 established better tools and systems for monitoring and evaluating SBCC programs for malaria.

  • Malaria SBCC Evidence Package: a searchable database, fact sheets and infographics featuring articles demonstrating the positive role of SBCC on malaria outcomes
  • Malaria Case Management-M&E for SBCC: a guidance document for monitoring and evaluating malaria case management SBCC interventions
  • Malaria Behavioral Assessment Toolkit: a research tool that captures malaria SBCC-related behaviors and influencing facts

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