Desk Review and Qualitative Assessment of Case Management SBCC Strategies in Four Countries: Ethiopia, Rwanda, Senegal and Zambia

Case management of malaria has undergone profound changes over the years since the introduction and widespread use of rapid diagnostic testing (RDT) and artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). Recent years have seen the evolution of home management of malaria, community-based management of malaria and integrated community case management (iCCM) of malaria packages. Social and behavior change communication (SBCC) activities at the community level that address behaviors like prompt care seeking and compliance with complete ACT regimens have been the focus of some interventions. Much less SBCC has focused on service provider behaviors, like adherence to simple and complicated malaria treatment and diagnosis algorithms, and adherence to ACT and RDT protocols.

Countries like Ethiopia, Rwanda, Senegal and Zambia have shown that carefully planned malaria case management pilots, programs and activities can be extremely effective.1234 This research does not, however, include documentation of SBCC components of malaria case management programming that have been measured for impact. While these countries have taken steps to develop malaria communication strategies that include malaria case management messaging, very little has been done to document the impact of resulting national activities and programs.

The purpose of this desk review is to identify promising SBCC practices related to malaria case management at both community and service provider levels in the four focus countries: Zambia, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Senegal.

Source: Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs

Date of Publication: April 13, 2020

SBCC in Support of Malaria in Pregnancy Control Programming: A Five Country Review

The burden of malaria has dropped significantly in the last 10 ten years. It is unfortunate that this completely preventable disease continues to exist at all, particularly among pregnant women, where malaria can have extreme consequences on both maternal and fetal outcomes. Research has shown that effective social and behavior change communication (SBCC) programs can have an impact on the uptake of malaria in pregnancy (MIP) interventions, including the use of long lasting insecticide treated nets (LLINs), taking at least three doses of intermittent preventive treatment during pregnancy (IPTp), and prompt treatment seeking behavior that utilizes rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). The extent to which SBCC for MIP is integrated into country programs, however, is unclear.

To address this issue, this review of five countries (Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, and Zambia) was conducted to assess the extent to which MIP SBCC guidelines have been incorporated into national strategic plans. The review collected the following strategic documents from each of the five countries as available:

• National malaria strategies
• National malaria case management documents
• National reproductive health documents
• National malaria communication strategies
• MIP guidelines and training documents
• Malaria monitoring and evaluation frameworks

Each document was reviewed for document-specific criteria that indicate the depth, harmonization, and integration of SBCC for MIP in country programs. A summary of document findings and country specific recommendations is provided for each of the five countries.

A collective summary of overarching findings that can be seen across all of the countries includes the following statements referencing SBCC for MIP in strategic documents:
1. National malaria communication strategy objectives and activities are not always consistent with those laid out in the national malaria strategic plan.
2. Strategies do not tend to segment audiences thoroughly. Service providers and those who support pregnant women are rarely mentioned.
3. Knowledge is an overly emphasized focus of SBCC efforts. Attitudinal behavioral determinants are seldom addressed. Those countries looking to conduct formative research to inform MIP priorities should assess self-efficacy, perceived risk, and social norms.
4. Country specific barriers to behaviors that prevent and control malaria in pregnancy, identified in the documents’ situation analysis, are not often addressed by SBCC strategies.
5. If and when countries’ national malaria control program and reproductive health units integrate their service providers’ training activities, documents, and supporting activities, the manner in which this occurs is not well detailed.
6. National malaria strategies do not always outline objectives that are detailed enough to guide the development of effective national communication strategies.

Source: Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs

Date of Publication: April 13, 2020

Community Dialogues for Child Health

This Learning Brief summarizes a qualitative process evaluation conducted to assess communities’ response to a community dialogue approach, after one year of implementation in rural settings of three countries (Mozamique, Uganda and Zambia), in terms of outreach, relevance and intermediate results.

The study finds that community dialogues can be a powerful approach to make health promotion activities of community-based volunteers more participatory and effective in addressing social norms around child care practices, particularly in setting new social norms for early care-seeking at community health worker point of care.

Source: Malaria Consortium

Date of Publication: March 25, 2019

Expanding Access to Family Planning Services at the Community Level

Expanding access to family planning (FP) at the community level has been a priority strategy for accelerating progress toward achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and more specifically, emphasis on community access to FP has emerged as a major goal in sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2009 the Uganda Ministry of Health (MOH) launched a coordinated Village Health Team approach where village level health workers could provide multiple health care services, including basic FP information and some services, including referrals. Then, in December 2010, the MOH amended its national health policy to enable community health workers (CHWs) to provide injectable contraceptives.

This review of the programs reaches the following recommendations:

  1. Build and sustain awareness for community FP services at national and local levels
  2. Continue to build a supportive policy environment
  3. Strengthen service delivery systems
  4. Enhance motivation, retention, and capacity of VHTs
  5. Integrate FP with MCH services and with non-health sectors, and explore the potential of integrating FP services with drug shops
  6. Address financing issues to enhance FP services in underserved communities

Source: Uganda Ministry of Health

Date of Publication: March 25, 2019

A More Equal Future: Manual to Engage Fathers to Prevent Child Marriage in India

This manual was developed as part of a collaboration between World Vision and Promundo in response to harmful societal and cultural practices that support the continuation of child marriage in India.

It was developed as a response to strong societal and cultural resistance that supports the continuation of child marriage in communities where World Vision worksand is a concrete tool to engage men as fathers andallies in women’s and girls’empowerment. With a skilled facilitator, the tool allows the provision of asafe and constructive space for men to reflect on and redefine what it means to be men and fathers in their communities.

This tool is designed to provide a safe and constructive space for men, their partners and their daughters to critically reflect on the cultural and gender norms that perpetuate the devaluation of girls and serve as obstacles to men’s participation as involved fathers.

Source: Promundo

Date of Publication: March 25, 2019

Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) Considerations: Ebola Response in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

This document is intended to be used to guide risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) work which is central to stopping the outbreak and preventing its further amplification.

Unlike other areas of response, RCCE draws heavily on volunteers, frontline personnel and on people without prior training in this area. As such, the document provides basic background information, scopes the socio-economic and cultural aspects (that are known at the time of publication), and provides the latest evidence-based advice and approaches based on WHO’s Guideline: Communicating Risk in Public Health Emergencies, 2018.

The document also annexes a checklist for RCCE considerations in all pillars of the response, from surveillance and contact tracing to clinical care and safe and dignified burials.

Source: World Health Organization

Date of Publication: March 25, 2019




Supporting Orphans and other Vulnerable Children through Communication and Basic Counselling: A Reference Guide for Service Providers

This guide has been written as a reference resource for non-professional counselors and staff working with orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) who need to know how to provide some basic counselling as part of psychosocial support for the children in their care or through their projects.

This guide aims to provide information and guidance which can be used with other resources.

The guide aims to: strengthen the capacity of service providers to address the individual and collective psychosocial needs of children and young people; provide an easy to use two-in-one guide and reference material for child counselors; promote the personal and professional development of counselors and other staff working with children and young people; and help service providers to assess and deal with challenges in working with orphans and other vulnerable children.

The Alliance, as part of the CORE Initiative Project in Uganda developed this publication as part of a series of tools and guides to support the development of the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGSLD) Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children Programme.

Source: International HIV/AIDS Alliance

Date of Publication: March 25, 2019