Considering the favourable factors for Kala-azar elimination and new technology and advances in diagnosis and treatment, the National Roadmap for Kala-azar Elimination (NRKE) released by the Government of India on 2nd September 2014, has provided strategic directions on reducing the delay between onset of disease and diagnosis and treatment; with emphasis on early case detection and complete management.
NCIS was selected as the national communication agency in a World Bank-assisted project in 2011-13 with National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP). As a part of this assignment, NCIS conducted a formative research in the three states of Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal; and developed a BCC strategy based on the findings. The study recognised that the population at risk for Kala-azar was the poorest in the community with limited access to health care due to various socio-economic determinants; and concluded that intensive awareness campaigns with the involvement of communities and community health volunteers would address important barriers in utilisation of services.
The study also recognised that Kala-azar elimination will require effective involvement of health personnel at all levels in the continuum of care, right from the engagement of ASHAs at village level to laboratory technicians, medical officers at the primary health centres to specialists at district hospitals, for early identification of a suspected case, diagnosis and treatment, PKDL and any other complications and last but not the least, effective implementation of BCC activities at the community level to improve knowledge, attitude and practices related to prevention and treatment of Kala-azar.
In 2014, NCIS was hired as the agency for implementing BCC activities in the villages of seven most endemic districts covered by the Indoor Residual Spray (IRS) round during June-July 2015. NCIS initiated the activities in seven districts, namely – Vaishali, Saran (Chapra), Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, Araria, Saharsa and Purnea.
More than 3,000 villages were reached and 2,75,000 community members were directly reached through Group Communication and IPC sessions.
This intervention is being scaled up to 38 districts across Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal in 2016.
For more information on the SBCC activities, materials and resources write to firstname.lastname@example.org.