Today, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, private sector partners, service providers and members of the global community come together to rally around World Malaria Day 2016 and its theme of ending malaria for good. Fortunately, we have a lot to celebrate – our collective work prioritizing malaria and scaling up proven interventions has resulted in a 60% reduction of the global malaria mortality rate since 2000.
Statistics like the one above can be hard to process, given that malaria is a preventable and treatable disease. However, as social and behavior change communication (SBCC) professionals we know that preventing and treating malaria is not that simple. Knowledge, attitudes and environmental factors create substantial barriers to practicing appropriate prevention and treatment behaviors. Fortunately, SBCC is able to directly address these barriers and increase the acceptance and use of available prevention and treatment strategies. Improving these behaviors is especially important as we continue to make progress reducing the world’s malaria burden, and get closer to malaria elimination.
In recognition of World Malaria Day, Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) will host a Springboard discussion on April 25-26 around the topic of malaria elimination. Join like-minded malaria and SBCC professionals, as well as moderators Andrew Tompsett from the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), Bill Brieger from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Mike Toso from HC3 and Rebecca Shore from VectorWorks to share your insights on how malaria efforts can be improved by SBCC, and how SBCC can be a useful tool in malaria elimination efforts. We look forward to learning about your thoughts around what is needed in the malaria fight to the final mile to elimination.
In the meantime, make sure to check out HC3’s World Malaria Day blog series, where you can find conversations about malaria elimination with Dr. Clive Shiff (faculty at the Bloomberg School of Public Health) and Anna McCartney-Melstad (Co-Chair for Roll Back Malaria’s Communication Community of Practice), as well as a breakdown of the many dangers of mosquitoes. Also, be on the lookout for blog posts from HC3 Nigeria’s Documentation Specialist, Abolade Oladejo, where he shines a spotlight on the community and state leaders fighting malaria “from the frontlines.”