Malaria Social and Behaviour Change during COVID-19 Case Study: The Call of the Trumpet, Ethiopia

Source
RBM Partnership to End Malaria Social and Behavior Change Working Group

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on malaria control and elimination efforts. Modeling predictions suggested the annual malaria death toll in sub-Saharan Africa could double because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) urged countries not to scale back their planned malaria prevention, diagnostic, and treatment activities during the COVID-19 pandemic or the gains made in saving lives from malaria and other diseases over the past 20 years may be lost.

Malaria SBC programs had to think afresh and re-strategize to tackle new limitations to reach audiences and convince them to change their behaviors to prevent and manage malaria. Malaria SBC workers increased their efforts while also closely following COVID-19 guidelines.

This Ethiopia case study offers insight into leveraging community members’ existing social capital to reinforce insecticide-treated net use and prompt care-seeking for fever during COVID-19. They literally blew trumpets to drive home their messages.