Participatory communication for malaria control

Current malaria control strategies rely mostly on individuals and communities taking action themselves to hang and sleep under bed-nets and to treat symptoms of malaria with anti-malarial drugs. These strategies will only succeed when communities understand the causes of malaria and ways to prevent and treat the disease. This means that communication is vital - for communities to understand and take action, and for those working in malaria control to introduce the most appropriate action at community level. Advocacy that raises awareness of the need for malaria control should take place at national and international levels, again showing the vital role of communication.

This Key list draws on research carried out by Exchange for its Findings paper Participatory communication in malaria control: Why does it matter? Source welcomes additions to this list. Please email suggestions to sourceassistant@hi-uk.org.

Selected resources

Discussion and analysis

CBIA : improving the quality of self-medication through mothers' active learning

SURYAWATI, Sri
2003

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Self-medication is beneficial for the treatment of minor ailments but only if there is sufficient knowledge about the correct use of medicines. This article looks at the pieces of information required by mothers for appropriate self-medication. CBIA (Cara Belajar Ibu Aktif) is an abbreviation for Mothers' Active Learning Method. CBIA uses a problem-based approach and self learning process. Information printed on the pharmaceutical package is used as training material. The training is intended to empower mothers to seek and critically assess information on the drugs they commonly use and to increase drug procurement efficiency in households. The article looks at conducting CBIA sessions and how far it is an effective method. The CBIA approach was found to be effective in increasing knowledge and reducing the number of medical products used and mothers found this type of problem-based learning to be enjoyable

Communication in participatory approaches to health care

DUNN, Alison
2004

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This policy brief is concerned with the involvement of district-level health workers in participatory approaches at community level. Using participatory approaches improves healthworkers' communication skills and validates community knowledge. This emerged from a study carried out by the Malaria Knowledge Programme (MKP) in Ghana where it was clear that the interaction and communication that took place between health workers and community members provided opportunities for dialogue and building new relationships

Community involvement in malaria control and prevention [Chapter 8] | Malaria control during mass population movements and natural disasters

2002

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This chapter considers malaria control in displaced populations and in the context of complex emergencies, and places community participation (reflecting both understanding and acceptability of interventions) at the centre of both prevention and control of malaria. It finds that the sociocultural context surrounding displacement situations needs to be considered when designing malaria control interventions, and that treatment-seeking behaviours are complex and poorly understood in the context of complex emergencies. It offers suggestions in assessing needs and gathering information to inform project planning

Community involvement in rolling back malaria

MUHE, Lulu
2002

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This Roll Back Malaria (RBM) publication focuses on community involvement in malaria control. Community based health initiatives enable the 'home to be the first hospital' and are the life support systems of people who are poor, isolated and living in rural areas. The publication sets out the main areas of community participation and RBM's efforts to ensure that the health care needs of those most at risk of malaria are met. RBM's action at community level is based on some principles of community participation; broadening partnership; building upon experience; developing community-level intervention channels; improving linkages between communities and the district health system; strengthening district capacity for RBM community actions; strengthening community self-monitoring and decision-making; and effective communications strategy

Enhancing research uptake through communication, networking and capacity development

DUNN, Alison
2004

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This brief paper describes the research methodology employed by the Malaria Knowledge Programme, and key lessons learned. The programme aimed to enhance the impact of its work through strengthening information and communication flows, involving Southern researchers and institutions and creating international networks for the improvement of research communication throughout its work. Using examples, this paper illustrates how the programme engaged with dynamics of research, policy making and practice, in accordance with DFID recommendations

Fifty years of development communication : what works

WAISBORD, Silvio
July 2003

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This presentation gives an overview of what works in participatory communication based on the experience of the past 50 years. It looks at an 'alphabet soup' of approaches in development communication, provides some definitions and discusses some common misconceptions about communication in development. There have been some changes in the practice of development communication which are noted. There are then some case studies looking at different interventions, followed by five key ideas on what works in development communication

Lessons from malaria control activities in urban West Africa using a research-action-capacity building approach

FELBER, G
OTHINGUE, N
YEMADJI, N
et al
February 2001

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In the South, urban environmental and social management is often based on top-down approaches which use technologies and strategies not corresponding to the demands of the inhabitants and to their social, economic and ecological realities. This paper discusses how a community-based approach - Research Action Capacity Building (RAC) - can be valuable for malaria control and more specifically for the dissemination of insecticide treated bednets. Taking a bednet project in NDjamena, capital of Chad, as an example, the article investigates the potential and the limitations of this approach for mobilising and strengthening sustainable activities and capacity building at community level

Malaria control in schools : protecting children and teachers, protecting the next generation

SOUTHERN AFRICA MALARIA CONTROL (SAMC)
2004

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This short paper is aimed at schools, teachers, and pupils. It considers the problem of malaria in schools in southern Africa, how malaria and education are linked and strategies for malaria control in schools. There is a list of tools for schools that want to engage with the problem of malaria, and also a list of partners such as national malaria control programmes, ministries, UN agencies and NGOs that can provide support to school based malaria control. Steps for schools to take are suggested, along with malaria materials that are currently available for southern African schools

Participation of African social scientists in malaria control : identifying enabling and constraining factors

NGALAME, Paulyne M
et al
December 2004

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This article discusses research examining the enabling and constraining factors that influence African social scientists' involvement in malaria control. Findings showed that most participants did not necessarily seek malaria as a career path. Having a mentor who provided research and training opportunities, and developing strong technical skills in malaria control and grant or proposal writing facilitated career opportunities in malaria. A paucity of jobs and funding and inadequate technical skills in malaria limited the type and number of opportunities available to social scientists in malaria control. Understanding the factors that influence job satisfaction, recruitment and retention in malaria control is necessary for better integration of social scientists into malaria control. However, given the wide array of skills that social scientists have and the variety of deadly diseases competing for attention in sub-Saharan Africa, it might be more cost effective to employ social scientists to work broadly on issues common to communicable diseases in general rather than solely on malaria

Participatory communication in malaria control : why does it matter?

DUNN, Alison
October 2005

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This paper reviews current approaches to malaria control, focusing on effective ways of engaging with local communities in participatory ways. It argues for considering human behaviour as well as mosquito behaviour in malaria control efforts. Engaging with people at community level is critical to developing interventions that are appropriate to the local context. Complex social and environmental factors, such as gender relationships, the cost of drugs, and the appropriateness of services mean that communication processes are vital, and will require sustained and coordinated international support and commitment

RBM communications assessment : challenges and opportunities in Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda

SHUFFELL, Sara
2004

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This report is from an assessment carried out between October 2002 and April 2003 in Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda. It was part of a Roll Back Malaria Communications Assessment as an initial stage in the process to develop effective and inclusive national malaria communication strategies in RBM participating countries across Africa. It notes the challenges that are raised in the context of development communications in Africa: the absence of basic malaria communications strategies, poor visibility of National Malaria Control Programmes, and lack of regional coordination and information sharing to name a few. There are, however, many opportunities to develop better malaria communications listed in the report

Strategic communications [Appendix 4] | Rolling back malaria : the global strategy and booster program

THE WORLD BANK
2005

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This short appendix discusses strategic communication, an important component of the Global Strategy and Programme of Action for Malaria Control. Roll Back Malaria partners held a communications and advocacy meeting in September 2004 to develop a comprehensive strategy in support of malaria control, providing a context for the World Bank to renew its operational and communications strategy simultaneously. It sets out goals, audiences, messages and key communications strategies

The behavioural and social aspects of malaria and its control : an introduction and annotated bibliography

HEGGENHOUGEN, H Kristian
HACKETHAL, Veronica
VIVEK, Pramila
2003

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This publication highlights the importance of sociocultural factors in malaria control and makes clear that the fight against malaria and other infectious diseases is inseparable from the striving for socioeconomic and political equity. The authors show that human behaviour is related to risk for malaria, and that such behaviour is influenced by a range of cultural and social factors. It provides a valuable social science starting point for the design and evaluation of anti-malaria interventions. It provides a thorough analysis of the perception of malaria as a disease, then looks at the effect of human movement on malaria. A considerable gap remains between 'correct scientific knowledge' and the accepted practices and beliefs about malaria held by different groups of people, and one section discusses the difficulties imposed by the clash between 'northern' and traditional ways of responding to disease episodes, and demonstrates that the 'North' has much to learn from the 'South'. Also covered are attitudes towards the use of insecticide-impregnated bednets, gender issues such as the invisible role of women in determining the health-related practices of a household, and the manner in which people interact with each other, identify needs, and make decisions. Finally there is an extensive annotated bibliography of the social science literature on malaria

Toolkits, manuals and guidelines

Participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation : a new approach to working with communities

SIMPSON-HERBERT, Mayling
et al
1996

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Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST) is designed to promote hygiene behaviours, sanitation improvements and community management of water and sanitation facilities using specifically developed participatory techniques. This document describes the underlying principles of the approach, the development of the specific participatory tools, and the results of field tests in four African countries. It documents: the principles which underlie the approach; how the methodology was developed at workshops in the African region; the impact that PHAST made on communities and extension workers that were part of the field test; the lessons learned during the field test; and how the approach can be adopted more widely

RBM advocacy guide

ROLL BACK MALARIA
2000

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A practical guide to advocacy work around malaria, including useful facts and statistics, and detailed information on advocacy strategies for social change. It presents a comprehensive tool for telling others about the Roll Back Malaria partnership and influencing their thinking around malaria control. It outlines four basic steps that are essential for an effective advocacy initiative: gathering the facts, packaging the message, working with the media and mobilising others. It contains specific examples and creative ideas. Political protocol, media etiquette and social values vary widely from country to country and the guide suggests cultural sensitivity. There is an advocacy resources chapter where readers may borrow successful ideas from others to creatively adapt and apply to their own situations and campaigns

Websites

Roll Back Malaria : a global partnership. Communication working group

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)

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The RBM working group on communication aims to empower RBM partners at country level to develop, implement and evaluate effective, appropriate and evidence-based strategic malaria communication activities to achieve RBM objectives. The website contains a series of meeting reports, background documents and presentations

Southern Africa malaria control

SOUTHERN AFRICA MALARIA CONTROL (SAMC)

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Awareness of the burden of malaria needs to be raised particularly among national and international partners and communities. Innovative entry points and gate keepers into communities need to be identified and used, including schools, religious organisations, agricultural extension workers and returning migrants. This website dedicated to malaria control has a section called 'Advocacy, Community Mobilisation and Information, Education and Communication'. The main areas covered are current strategies, advocacy, IEC school based malaria control, ways forward and constraints. The premise is that advocacy, IEC and community based malaria control are essential parts of effective malaria control programmes