250083 Using Participatory Action Research to create campaigns to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading malaria, dengue and other influenza-like illnesses (ILIs) in Thailand and Laos border areas

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 11:42 AM

Berengere De Negri , Global Health, Population and Nutrition Group, Academy for Educational Development, Washington, DC
Robert Kelly, PhD , Global Health, Population and Nutrition, Academy for Educational Development, Washington, DC
Tula Michaelides, MPH , Global Health Marketing Group, Academy for Educational Development, Washington, DC
We used PAR in the Thai border provinces of Chaing Rai and Mukdahan and in Savannakhet, Laos to gather information on the local populations and help people understand how influenza-like illnesses are spread, and how changes in lifestyle routines and living conditions can reduce the risk of contracting illnesses like bird flu, dengue fever and malaria. PAR techniques, focus group discussions and key informant interviews were used. We found which illnesses are usually treated at home, at clinics and which require hospitals; understood how the facilities available and the distance to those facilities influence treatment; learned how to communicate appropriate home treatments and prevention strategies; and learned that prevention and treatment should be spread through trusted communicators such as village health workers. The role of schools, hospitals, factories, hotels and temples was highlighted. The PAR findings were used in the provincial health office plan of action and the district and provincial recommendations. Cross-border issues and cooperation should be emphasized, especially in work plans for outbreak preparedness, and promoting community and village cooperation in national prevention and control programs is important. PARs influence choosing the right communication tools and avenues, such as village Health Workers, billboards, radio and TV, or SMS messages, to reach the ‘right' people with behavior change messages they will accept.

Learning Areas:
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control

Learning Objectives:
Discuss how Participatory Action Research (PAR) can be used to create campaigns that can successfully persuade people to alter their behavior and living conditions in ways that will reduce their chances of contracting and spreading influenza-like illnesses (ILIs).

Keywords: Infectious Diseases, Communication

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered