Communication For Health Will Support SBCC Capacity of Local Communities in Ethiopia

09 Feb 2016
CommunicationForHealthLaunch

Ramona El Hamzaoui, Acting Mission Director for USAID Ethiopia, speaks at the Communication for Health launch event in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

CCP Executive Director Susan Krenn joined HE Dr. Kesetebirhan Admasu, Minister of Health in Ethiopia, and Ramona El Hamzaoui, Acting Mission Director for USAID Ethiopia, to announce the launch of a multiplatform social and behavior change communication (SBCC) project, Communication for Health, to be based in Ethiopia.

Over a five-year period (2015 – 2020), Communication for Health aims to measurably contribute to the adoption of healthy behaviors by Ethiopians in four regions — Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR and Tigray— by strengthening SBCC capacity at the national, regional and sub-regional levels. The project’s ultimate goal is to increase knowledge and health practices of individuals and communities while supporting systems to improve the quality, capacity and coordination of SBCC programs. Communication for Health is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and will be led by CCP in partnership with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and John Snow, Inc. (JSI). Other partners include; Regional Health Bureaus, Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Civil Society Organizations, and Public Health Universities.

Ethiopia has made significant progress in improving access to health services, developing policies and strategies that include health promotion and community ownership, and meeting important millennium development goals (MDGs). Policy initiatives and preventive measures, as well as community involvement and ownership, have contributed to remarkable outcomes in expanding access to health care. Despite this progress, more Ethiopians die from preventable causes than the global average.

Communication for Health will work across multiple health areas, including Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH); Malaria; Tuberculosis (TB); Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH); Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT); and Nutrition. One of the key features of Communication for Health will be an Integrated Campaign Platform (ICP) which provides a trusted, recognizable and credible platform to introduce or build on communication interventions. It organizes health messaging in a coherent and coordinated way through multiple channels to support community based health workers. The ICP serves as a centerpiece for integrating media to convey the variety of health issues while using a phased approach to messaging to avoid fatigue and confusion.

The project was announced during the inaugural International SBCC Summit, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Summit is hosted by USAID, the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia, and the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative, which is led by CCP.

For more information about Communication for Health, please contact Amrita Gill-Bailey (agbailey@jhu.edu).

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