In Botswana, Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) practice promotes healthy lifestyles and positive health-seeking behaviour across all public health programs, including malaria. Botswana’s social change and behaviour change approaches are grounded in the complex contextual and social determinants of human behaviour. We access why people behave as they do and design programs that push buttons, pull levers, create “Aha!” moments, and empower individuals and communities to embrace change.
SBCC has galvanized Botswana ‘s progress towards malaria elimination and largely depend on the creation of demand for malaria products and services, appropriate use of LINNS and IRS, as well as changes in underlying social norms related to malaria prevention and treatment. Malaria interventions in Botswana largely depend on human behaviour in order to be successful. The integration of high quality social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) into Botswana‘s malaria elimination strategic planning is essential in order to reach targets to prevent, treat, control, and eventually eliminate the disease.
Innovating SBCC Practice in Botswana
In Botswana, our SBCC practice excels at introducing community and individual-level innovations that catalyse sustained change. Ministry of Health and Wellness has included innovative initiative aimed at accelerating community ownership of malaria elimination agenda. The initiative called CATTEM means Community Acting Together to Eliminate Malaria. This initiative include implementation of activities that are geared toward strengthening community engagement, involvement and ownership of malaria elimination programme. The government of Botswana continues to fund the SBCC activities in order to improve vector control interventions acceptance and ultimately increase programme coverage to achieve malaria elimination.
How do we understand SBCC?
In Botswana, we understand that Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) is an interactive, researched and planned process, which requires a socio-ecological model for analysis to find the tipping point for change. We implement SBCC approach through three main strategies, namely, advocacy, social mobilization, and behaviour change communication (including I.E.C).
Evidence is imperative
Evidence-based and theory-informed SBCC can contribute to achieving malaria elimination outcomes. SBCC activities vary depending on the nature of the behavioural and normative challenges associated with interventions tailored to areas of varying malaria transmission, and for specific populations and specific contexts. The first step to designing evidence-based and theory informed SBCC activities is to analyse and prioritize normative and behavioural challenges. As these challenges are constantly evolving and programmes need to keep pace as individual and societal challenges will continue to shift.
HOW WE DO IT- SBCC PLANNING PROCESS
We design country-led SBCC strategies that include national-level advocacy, enhanced by deeper interventions at the community and individual levels, plus partnership-building with government, civil society, and the private sector to broaden and deepen SBCC impact.
Nation al Malaria Behaviour Change Communication Program
The program, branded ‘Nyeletsa Malaria’ was developed based on the community perception on malaria interventions, treatment seeking behaviour and adherence to treatment.
The program focuses on production and distribution of IEC material at district level by involving districts and communities in material and message development.
The program develops and distribute evidence based, pretested, locally and culturally sensitive, appropriate BCC/ BCC materials such as Leaflets, pamphlets, posters, telescopic banners, newspaper stripes and as well as broadcast media such radio and television (adverts, jingles, documentaries dramas and spots announcements.
Communities Acting Together To Eliminate Malaria (CATTEM Initiative)
Malaria Mobile Health Facilities and Cross Border Health Communication
Through support from the SADC Elimination 8 Initiative, Botswana is also is rolling out key elimination initiatives in the country’s border areas with establishment of mobile health facilities which provides testing and treatment services to mobile and migrant populations. E8 also supported placement of billboards and mobile public transport messaging in border districts to promote positive messaging and health seeking behavior among MMPs.
In partnership with the following organizations;