First Locally Run Health Communication Workshop Launched

11 Jul 2012
LSHC Tanzania

LSHC workshop participants from Mbeya, Tanzania.

In an unprecedented move which will enable JHU∙CCP to further spread its capacity strengthening efforts, CCP’s Tanzania Capacity and Communication Project (TCCP) in collaboration with the Primary Health Care Institute of Tanzania and with funding from USAID launched two Leadership in Strategic Health Communication (LSHC) workshops at the beginning of July.

The first of their kind, the workshops were led by local facilitators from the Primary Health Care Institute (PHCI), a government training facility, who received extensive training and support from CCP. The workshops ran from July 2-12 in Iringa, Tanzania.

“These [workshops] are the way that we will reach a wide number of people in the country,” explains Godfrey Richards, Training and Mentoring Officer in CCP’s Tanzania office. “It is our belief that [through these workshops] trainees will be able to include improved BCC activities in their interventions.”

To prepare PHCI to deliver the LSHC workshops, PHCI staff received instruction from CCP staff who lead the Baltimore-based LSHC workshop. The Baltimore-based workshop recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. PHCI trainers developed the content for the workshops in close collaboration with CCP headquarters and Tanzania staff, and CCP continued to assist PHCI with technical and logistical issues that arose through the process.

The 70 workshop participants, who came from Iringa and Mbeya, oversee all health issues in their respective regions and districts as members of multi-sectoral health committees and TACAIDS regional coordinators.

The participants experienced the full LSHC agenda that CCP typically implements in its regional and Baltimore-based trainings; however, the workshops were adjusted to include local data from the districts so that the participants could develop programs that address genuine needs. Following the workshops, TCCP will select the best district communication action plans for funding and implementation with mentoring throughout the process.

The workshops were met with great enthusiasm. Says one workshop participant, “This is a great opportunity for us as public health practitioners. I believe this training in leadership and strategic health communication will give me new alternatives to communication to my clients.”

These two workshops in Iringa are the first of 8 planned workshops which will take place over the next six months. In total, 232 people from TCCP’s eight priority regions in Tanzania will be trained by PHCI by the end of the year.

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