Social Communication & Advocacy: Health
We initiated our Health Advocacy with a view to create substantial awareness and bring about a considerable behavioural change regarding health issues in Bangladesh. Our first inception of Health Advocacy was Awareness Raising on Tuberculosis Control in 2005. Gradually we also concentrated on advocating for other health issues like malaria control, exclusive breast feeding followed by complementary feeding and promoting behaviour change regarding water, sanitation and hygiene realizing the program needs as well as the importance of the issues on our national health.
Tuberculosis Control Advocacy
As a part of worldwide awareness regarding tuberculosis as a fatal disease our health unit is working for increasing social awareness, detection of TB and reducing the stigma associated with this disease. Through social communication and media mobilization we seek to raise awareness on these issues. After completing the social communication part on a huge scale, we are now concentrating on media mobilization activities as we strongly believe that media plays a vital role to sensitize and mobilize mass people on TB symptoms, TB treatment, and behavioural change. Currently we are working in 42 districts covering 288 upazillas to raise awareness on TB control.
Alive& Thrive Advocacy
We initiated our Alive & Thrive Advocacy with a view to encourage the health sector, civil society, community leaders and other influential people to disseminate message for increasing early initiation, exclusive breast feeding, and practices of recommended complementary feeding among the families of 0-24 months’ children. Through Social Communication we are striding to promote the issues of exclusive breast feeding as well as complementary feeding from October 2009. We completed the first phase of Alive & Thrive Advocacy on March 2010. Through different events we have successfully disseminated the message of Alive & Thrive Initiatives to encourage the participants to raise their voice in favour of the issue for changing practices within household and community level. Nonetheless we are very much hopeful to bring about a positive change both in the knowledge and practice levels in the upcoming phase of the initiatives.
Malaria is one of the significant causes behind the mortality among the children and pregnant women in the region like Chittagong Hill Tracts, which is a visible threat to achieve the Millennium Development Goals to ‘Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and other diseases.’ Since April 2008, our health unit started concentrating on advocating for raising awareness on malaria control. By disseminating key messages and necessary information through different advocacy tools like orientation for media people at districts level and roundtable discussion at national level, we are raising awareness regarding malaria control among the Government Organisations, NGOs and general people covering 13 Malaria prone districts of our country.