Behaviour change communication and social mobilization for tuberculosis control in the Prefecture of Tchamba (Northeastern Togo)
Tuberculosis continue to be an epidemic in Togo due to the lack of suitable communication about the disease (symptoms, causes, prevention and treatment). To fight against this great scourge, real social communication must be developed by using all means of modern and traditional communications.
In the framework of this project which covered the entire prefecture of Tchamba, ANCE teams met all political and religious authorities, traditional chiefs and notables, Village Development Committee (VDC) and Neighborhood Development Committee members (NDC), women’s organizations, activist organizations in the field of health, community-based organizations and populations. The purpose of these meetings is to inform, educate and make these people and grassroots communities aware of tuberculosis disease, its symptoms, causes, prevention and treatment. A large meeting was held in Tchamba (capital city of the prefecture), followed by hundreds of public meetings in the cantons and villages. Then, several radio programmes were organized in community radios of the prefecture in local languages. Door to door visits, information and sketches were also used to convey messages to local communities.
An important element in this communication is the integrated approach that was used. The communication focused on symptoms, causes, prevention and treatment. It also focused on the DOTS strategy, co-infection, etc. Local monitoring teams have been established in each capital town and village. These committees consist of the traditional chief, few notables, nurses (if any), VDC and QDC members, primary and secondary school headmasters, etc… The aim was also to strengthen partnerships around tuberculosis treatment and promote diagnosis by communities themselves, and raise the duty to see a doctor when a case occurs.
This IEC project was very successful and needs to be maintained and generalized in other regions and prefectures of Togo.