12,363 The Drum Beat, Malaria Communication

The Drum BeatMalaria Communication – The Drum Beat 686
This issue features:
EDUTAINMENT INITIATIVES & TOOLS: Net Messages, Radio Drama, Comics, Film, TV
ADVOCACY & DEMAND GENERATION STRATEGIES: In Pregnancy, Advocating 4 Elimination
EVALUATION STRATEGIES & FINDINGS: Impact of BCC on Net Use, BCC Indicator Guide
WHERE TO GO FOR MORE ON MALARIA: On The CI and Soul Beat Africa websites
Commemorated each April 25 since 2007, World Malaria Day finds people taking part in endeavours designed to foster understanding of malaria, provide education on prevention and treatment, and spread information on national malaria-control strategies, including community-based activities for malaria prevention and treatment in endemic areas. What does strategic communication – especially behaviour change communication (BCC) – lend to the effort? This Drum Beat explores some of the actions, approaches, and analysis that communicators have developed across the globe.
From The Communication Initiative Network – where communication and media are central to social and economic development
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EDUTAINMENT INITIATIVES & TOOLS
1. Ghana: Keeping Net Use Messages Fresh and Cool
Ghana’s Aha Ye De (Twi for “It’s Good Here [under the net]”) campaign sought to keep net use messages fresh and relevant over a 3-year campaign. This brief outlines the Extended Parallel Processing Model (EPPM) approach used by the campaign, which combined threat and empowerment messages to encourage behaviour change. Outputs included a music video by a popular musician, a television spot about net usage, mini-documentaries about children who have suffered the effects of severe malaria, a docudrama focused on malaria during pregnancy, the Good Life Game Show, community outreach and mobilisation, and radio discussion programmes featuring both panel discussions with radio listeners calling in to ask questions and recorded spots and songs on malaria prevention and management. According to the brief, the campaign is helping to eliminate attitudinal barriers to net use. For example, the “proportion of respondents who did not use a net the night before because ‘nets are not necessary’ or ‘nets are uncomfortable’ decreased from 8% to 4% and 13% to 6% respectively.” [Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs (JHUCCP)]
2. No More Malaria: Village Drama Outreaches, Podcasting, and Programming Project
During World Malaria Month 2013, Peace Corps volunteers (PCVs) in Uganda implemented a project to provide people in the West Nile region with information about malaria prevention and control. In addition to training for radio presenters on producing malaria programming, production of a radio toolkit, and community and school-based discussions, community-based drama was performed in rural villages of Aripea, Kuluba, Baracala, and Logiri, reaching 1,500 Ugandans in an effort to provoke dialogue and reflection about malaria prevention and care. In addition, the “No More Malaria” drama script was translated into 3 local languages and performed by village health teams, school-age youth, and drama teams at World Malaria Month events around Uganda. [PCVs and Radio Pacis]
3. Malaria: The Battle against a Microscopic Killer
by Jamie Hall and Edward Ross
Available in 9 languages, this interactive, “intelligent” comic book explores the ongoing battle with the parasite that causes malaria, by going inside the labs and the clinics where scientists are working to put an end to the disease. It is designed to serve as an educational tool that engages the next generation of malaria researchers, allowing students in schools and colleges around the world to learn about the disease, how it is transmitted, and what the scientific community is doing to fight it. The comic book also outlines the history of malaria research, involving the collaboration of research institutes and researchers around the world. [European Virtual Institute of Malaria Research (EVIMalaR), 2012]
4. Chumo – Film
Chumo weaves malaria messages into a story of love, ambition, and determination. The film was produced by Media for Development International (MFDI) and directed by Jordan Riber for the Communication and Malaria Initiative in Tanzania (COMMIT) initiative, which is working to promote positive behaviour change around malaria control and prevention in Tanzania. Malaria prevention during pregnancy is communicated through the dramatic story of “star-crossed lovers.”
5. Schoolchildren Battle Malaria and Other Diseases – Comic Book
This comic book tells the story of a school in a remote part of Africa, illustrating how schoolchildren are suffering from the symptoms of malaria and dying from the disease. Two children, Dan and Ann, decide to take action, which results in their school taking measures to prevent malaria and all water- and sanitation-related diseases. [Horizon International, 2014]
6. Newman Street Television Programme
This entertainment-education television series in Nigeria promotes family planning and malaria-prevention practices. Set in a vibrant urban slum in Nigeria, the story is a “tale of the quest for fame, love, and acceptance” and how far people will go to accomplish these. [Center for Communication Programs Nigeria (CCPN) and Nollywood Concept Promotions (NCP).]
ADVOCACY AND DEMAND GENERATION STRATEGIES
7. Illustrative Communication Strategy for Prevention and Control of Malaria during Pregnancy
Grounded in the belief that effective communication is the basis of malaria-related behaviour change for all stakeholders – women, their families, community leaders, programme managers, and health care providers – this document outlines a communication strategy that supports the prevention and control of malaria in pregnancy. It covers background about malaria in pregnancy, walks the reader through the strategy design process, points out where malaria can be integrated into a communication strategy, and lists priority problems with suggestions about how to address them. Also provided is a strategy outline and example of a monitoring and evaluation plan. [Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs (JHUCCP), 2008]
8. Advocating for Malaria Elimination: Learning from the Successes of Other Infectious Disease Elimination Programmes
by Maxine A. Whittaker, Angela J. Dean, and Arna Chancellor
With a focus on the push to not just control malaria but to eliminate it, the authors of this paper undertook a selective review of infectious disease elimination programmes to identify successful elements of advocacy that could be applied within the context of malaria. Sample insight from Roll Back Malaria (RBM): “Effective messages need to be: clear compelling and concise; consistent and convincing; simple and direct; and frequently reinforced by a variety of sources. Powerful language can create a sense of urgency, but should not resort to sensationalism or overpromise, as these may diminish the impact of the message and the programme. Impact can be enhanced by combining messages with a human face and a visually interesting campaign…” [2014]
9. Pioneer Project
This project was designed to reduce malaria-related morbidity and mortality in 4 districts in mid-Western Uganda, as well as to gain a deeper understanding of the most effective approaches in achieving this objective. The project focused on supporting systemic malaria control by increasing both supply and demand for malaria control tools, such as long-lasting insecticide treated nets (LLINs) and diagnostic-based treatment in the region. In order to increase the demand for and use of malaria control tools, the project included BCC activities, which included radio- and community-based activities that sought to increase families’ knowledge of malaria prevention and to encourage them to act on this knowledge. [Malaria Consortium Uganda]
10. Building Capacity for Creating Demand in Support of Malaria Prevention and Control
by Sue George, John Dada, Kolawole Maxwell, and Folake Olayinka
This learning paper discusses knowledge gained through the Support to National Malaria Control Programme (SuNMaP) programme in Nigeria in planning and implementing demand creation for malaria prevention and treatment, including SuNMaP’s development of a communication strategy that included: socio-political interventions, such as policy advocacy and media advocacy; service delivery interventions, such as capacity building on client-centred counselling and provider-promoted risk awareness; and interventions at the community and individual levels, such as the use of radio and community mobilisation, which “contributed immensely to the increase in knowledge of the benefits of LLINs and IPTs and effective home management of fever. In SuNMaP focal states, the use of LLIN increased from 35 percent in 2010 to 47 percent in 2012.” [Malaria Consortium, Sep 2014]
11. Defeating Malaria: From the Genes to the Globe
Example strategies developed by this effort to build a broad set of collaborators from the global malaria community and partners from all sectors: “Mobilizing the power of mass communications to empower individuals to adopt behaviors that foster control and elimination of malaria; Directing policy makers’ attention to important issues regarding malaria, and frame those issues for public debate and resolution; Preparing current and future leaders to utilize communication strategies effectively to promote malaria control through behavior change and policy implementation; Strengthening communications between health professionals and journalists to ensure that the public understands the current state of malaria interventions; and Keeping malaria at the forefront of the policy and public agendas.” [Harvard School of Public Health]
EVALUATION STRATEGIES AND FINDINGS
12. Comparing Two Approaches for Estimating the Causal Effect of Behaviour-Change Communication Messages Promoting Insecticide-treated Bed Nets: An Analysis of the 2010 Zambia Malaria Indicator Survey
by Marc Boulay, Matthew Lynch, and Hannah Koenker
This paper compares two analytic approaches, propensity score matching and treatment effect modelling, in an effort to examine the relationship between exposure to BCC messages and the use of an insecticide-treated bed net (ITN) the previous night in Zambia. Findings, in brief, include: “When matched on similar propensity scores, a statistically significant 29.5 percentage point difference in ITN use is observed between exposed [to BCC messages] and unexposed respondents. A smaller but similarly significant difference between exposed and unexposed groups, 12.7 percentage points, is observed in the treatment effect model, which also controls for the number of bed nets owned by the household and exposure to malaria information from health workers. [Aug 2014].
13. Impact of a Behaviour Change Intervention on Long-lasting Insecticidal Net Care and Repair Behaviour and Net Condition in Nasarawa State, Nigeria
by Hannah Koenker, Albert Kilian, Gabrielle Hunter, Angela Acosta, Leah Scandurra, Babafunke Fagbemi, Emmanuel O Onyefunafoa, Megan Fotheringham, and Matthew Lync
This study, conducted in Nigeria, sought to assess how the durability of LLINs are influenced by behaviour of net maintenance, care, and repair, as well as whether BCC interventions could substantially impact on the average useful life of the net. The BCC intervention, which followed P-Process© (a 5-step planning process for behaviour change programmes developed by JHUCCP), involved radio spots, print materials, campaign logos, and key messages that were pre-tested in focus groups in rural and urban communities and further refined before launch in the 20 focus communities of the intervention site. “For all respondents, exposure to BCC messages was strongly correlated with increased positive attitude towards care and repair, and increases in attitude were positively correlated with observed net repairs, and with the proportion of nets in serviceable condition.” [Jan 2015]
14. Malaria Behavior Change Communication (BCC) Indicator Reference Guide
The indicators included in this guide, which is intended to support those involved in malaria prevention and control to evaluate the effectiveness of their malaria BCC interventions in a more rigorous and standardised way, have been selected based on 4 commonly used theories of communication and behaviour change. They include core indicators (shown to be associated with preventive behaviours for malaria), supplemental indicators (primarily reflecting social norms), and experimental indicators (which include context-specific indicators). [Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM), Feb 2014]
15. Roll Back Malaria Communication Community of Practice Working Paper: Checklist for Reporting on Malaria Communication Evaluations
by Angela Acosta, Joseph Keating, Douglas Storey, Hannah Koenker, Debra Prosnitz, Sarah Doyle, and Jessica Butt
“Good-quality reporting is all the more crucial as malaria control efforts seek to keep up with shifts in epidemiology and communication technologies.” In that light, this checklist offers strategies for reporting on evaluations of BCC programmes. Developed through a collaborative process that took place from 2012-2014, it emphasises description of the BCC intervention and rationale for the BCC strategy, choice of BCC outcomes, methods of creating comparisons, and a discussion about the effects, causal mechanism, and future implications and generalisability of the results. The goal is to: “improve the transparency of reporting, increase the efficiency of the writing and review process, and ultimately, facilitate synthesis of which BCC approaches work in different contexts.” [RBM, May 2014]
16. Communicating and Monitoring Surveillance and Response Activities for Malaria Elimination: China’s “1-3-7” Strategy
by Jun Cao, Hugh J. W. Sturrock, Chris Cotter, Shuisen Zhou, Huayun Zhou, Yaobao Liu, Linhua Tang, Roly D. Gosling, Richard G. A. Feachem, and Qi Gao
This paper outlines China’s “1-3-7” communication strategy for taking a malaria control programme from the control phases through to elimination of the disease: Reporting of malaria cases within 1 day, confirmation and investigation of cases within 3 days, and the appropriate public health response to prevent further transmission within 7 days. “Central to the value and effectiveness of the approach is the ability to communicate information between administrative levels to encourage rapid and complete reporting as well as improved adherence to surveillance and response procedures by health personnel.” [May 2014]
17. eLearning Series on Evidence-based Malaria Social & Behavior Change Communication: From Theory to Program Evaluation
This online training series is designed to strengthen capacity on how to use evidence and data to create strong social and behaviour change communication (SBCC) programmes for malaria prevention and control. [NetWorks]
WHERE TO GO FOR MORE ON MALARIA
This issue of The Drum Beat was written by Kier Olsen DeVries.
The Drum Beat is the email and web network of The Communication Initiative Partnership – Partners: ANDI, BBC Media Action, Bernard van Leer Foundation, Breakthrough, Calandria, Citurna TV, DFID, FAO, Fundación Imaginario, Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI), Inter-American Development Bank, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs, MISA, Oxfam Novib, PAHO, The Panos Institute, Puntos de Encuentro, The Rockefeller Foundation, SAfAIDS, Sesame Workshop, Soul City, STEPS International, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNICEF, USAID, The Wellcome Trust, World Health Organization (WHO), W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The Drum Beat seeks to cover the full range of communication for development activities. Inclusion of an item does not imply endorsement or support by The Partners.

Chair of the Partners Group: Garth Japhet, Founder, Soul City garth@heartlines.org.za

Executive Director: Warren Feek wfeek@comminit.com

The Editor of The Drum Beat is Kier Olsen DeVries.
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