The Vector-borne diseases (VBDs) are a cluster of infectious diseases transmitted by mosquitoes and other vectors. Among the VBDs, Malaria continues to be a major public health threat as patient is particularly prone to complications including death if not treated early. Within India, 80% of the Malaria burden is confined to 20% of population residing in high risk areas.
The World Bank (WB) supported project for Malaria control (at sub-district level by 2015) is being implemented within the overall policy and programme framework of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) on supporting efforts to prevent and control Malaria from the most endemic districts. Eight states that have been identified for Malaria control programme are Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. This approach of focusing on the most endemic states makes World Bank support more strategic and better targeted as Malaria contributes to highest morbidity and mortality rates among the VBDs.
New Concept Information Systems (NCIS) was engaged as BCC consulting organisation for development and implementation of communication strategy for Malaria control for the selected ten World Bank states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Gujarat, Odisha, West Bengal and Maharashtra).
The communication strategy developed by NCIS and approved by the directorate of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme was based on thorough desk review, consultative meeting with state officials and formative research in all the WB supported states that captured people’s perceptions about the diseases, their understanding of the fatality of disease, social & cultural practices, and economic status. These perceptions have a bearing on the accessibility and utilisation of government services.
New Concept Information Systems was required to – conduct formative research; develop BCC strategy; develop BCC implementation plans for national, sub-national levels; develop and pre-test appropriate messages, tools and materials; build capacities of state/district/sub district teams involved in Malaria control; implement and manage BCC activities as given in the implementation plan approved by the Directorate of NVBDCP; and set up simple and effective M&E systems processes in accordance with M&E framework to monitor the quantity, quality and effectiveness of message, tools, materials and activities.
NCIS, considers ownership to be most important. To ensure participation from the all the stakeholders at all levels, various state and national level meetings were held with NVBDCP and World Bank at Delhi and at state offices besides participating in a number of workshops.
The BCC materials were developed in Bengali , English, Hindi, Gujarati, Kannada , Marathi, Oriya, Telugu, and state-specific versions incorporated local aspects (colour of health worker’s dress, colloquial terms etc.).