Behaviour Change Communication and Advocacy in Ghana is implemented in line with the National Malaria Strategic Plan and National communication strategy. Communication plays a vital role in changing/improving knowledge, creating positive attitudes and improving practice of desired health behaviours. The focus of ACSM for malaria prevention and treatment is to ensure correct and consistent use of LLINs; appropriate treatment seeking behavior for malaria; compliance with the correct treatment regimen as enshrined in the Strategic Plan; improving community participation in indoor residual spraying (IRS) campaigns; and encouraging pregnant women to seek antenatal clinic services and comply with national recommendations for treatment of malaria in pregnancy.
The following were activities implemented in line with the national objectives:
The national communication strategy is in the process of being reviewed. Following the various policy recommendations by WHO, the strategy is being revised to reflect the new and current policies as reflected in the revised National Strategic Plan. A stakeholder’s workshop was held from 7th to 12th of April, 2014 to review the strategy. Five strategies have been developed for IPTp, Case Management including HBC, LLINs, SMC, and IRS. Strategies for Malaria Vaccines and Environmental Management are yet to be developed. A consultant has been engaged to write out the strategies.
Bahaviour Change Communication (BCC) activities carried out during the year included
Social/Community mobilization (community participation or engagement) is an ongoing activity aimed at sensitizing the community members to accept and participate in health interventions put in place to control diseases, in this case malaria. Some community activities were implemented through NGOs, Community Based Agents (CBAs), health personnel, etc. They were empowered with funds to undertake community level sensitization through durbars, traditional & opinion leaders’ orientations, market, churches/mosques one-on- one and group education. NGOs as well did house to house education of women on the need to attend Antenatal Clinics as early as they notice they are pregnant.