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Open Access Research article

A rapid assessment and response approach to review and enhance Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilisation for Tuberculosis control in Odisha state, India

Vishnu Vardhan Kamineni1*, Tahir Turk2, Nevin Wilson1, Srinath Satyanarayana1 and Lakbir Singh Chauhan3

Author Affiliations

1 International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), The Union South-East Asia Office, New Delhi 110016, India

2 Communication Partners International, 24 Dulwich Road, Springfield, NSW, 2250, Australia

3 Central TB Division, Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India

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BMC Public Health 2011, 11:463  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-463

Published: 10 June 2011

Abstract

Background

Tuberculosis remains a major public health problem in India with the country accounting for 1 in 5 of all TB cases reported globally. An advocacy, communication and social mobilisation project for Tuberculosis control was implemented and evaluated in Odisha state of India. The purpose of the study was to identify the impact of project interventions including the use of 'Interface NGOs' and involvement of community groups such as women's self-help groups, local government bodies, village health sanitation committees, and general health staff in promoting TB control efforts.

Methods

The study utilized a rapid assessment and response (RAR) methodology. The approach combined both qualitative field work approaches, including semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with empirical data collection and desk research.

Results

Results revealed that a combination of factors including the involvement of Interface NGOs, coupled with increased training and engagement of front line health workers and community groups, and dissemination of community based resources, contributed to improved awareness and knowledge about TB in the targeted districts. Project activities also contributed towards improving health worker and community effectiveness to raise the TB agenda, and improved TB literacy and treatment adherence. Engagement of successfully treated patients also assisted in reducing community stigma and discrimination.

Conclusion

The expanded use of advocacy, communication and social mobilisation activities in TB control has resulted in a number of benefits. These include bridging pre-existing gaps between the health system and the community through support and coordination of general health services stakeholders, NGOs and the community. The strategic use of 'tailored messages' to address specific TB problems in low performing areas also led to more positive behavioural outcomes and improved efficiencies in service delivery. Implications for future studies are that a comprehensive and well planned range of ACSM activities can enhance TB knowledge, attitudes and behaviours while also mobilising specific community groups to build community efficacy to combat TB. The use of rapid assessments combined with other complementary evaluation approaches can be effective when reviewing the impact of TB advocacy, communication and social mobilisation activities.

Keywords:
tuberculosis; advocacy; communication; social mobilisation; rapid assessment and review