This is a report on qualitative research undertaken by Breakthrough ACTION Guyana, USAID’s flagship social and behavior change (SBC) project designed to improve malaria outcomes among priority populations. The project uses innovative SBC approaches to address key behaviors related to malaria testing and treatment.
In Guyana, malaria is an issue in many regions, particularly among gold-mining populations. In response, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), the Pan American Health Organization, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have introduced malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) to provide services in hard to reach areas. To support this initiative, Breakthrough ACTION is collaborating with the MoPH to respond to the following motivating question: How might we improve malaria outcomes in these regions?
Guided by Breakthrough ACTION’s SBC Flowchart, two teams of researchers from the MoPH Vector Control Services and Public Relations/Health Promotion Unit along with Breakthrough ACTION staff conducted qualitative research in two regions. These research teams interviewed miners, camp managers, trained malaria testers, community health workers, pharmacists, regional administrative officers, and other vital stakeholders to understand the nature of current malaria services, behaviors around malaria testing, use of recommended and alternative treatments, and the broader malaria context that miners work in.
A total of 108 participants were interviewed. Based on these interviews, the research teams identified key findings and quotes and clustered them into sub-themes. Together, both teams identified larger themes and organized the sub-themes accordingly. Eleven insights were developed. In addition to these insights, audience segments, personas, and journey maps were created to summarize stakeholders interviewed and experiences shared. Breakthrough ACTION will use these insights to develop salient solutions and prototypes to encourage greater use of malaria testing services and recommended treatment regimens.