Purpose and Priorities
"Empowering communities to reduce their risk of aquiring schistosomiasis requires knowledge, engagement, collaboration and leadership. Combined with improved infrastructure sustainable change can be achieved."
The purpose of the GSA Behaviour Change and Health Education Working Group is:
- To advocate and serve as a catalyst for the integration of science-based behaviour change interventions, health education strategies, and communication activities into existing and new schistosomiasis control and elimination programmes
- To become the referenced convening platform for practitioners of schistosomiasis-related behaviour change interventions, health education strategies and communication studies, projects, and programmes.
- To assemble and make available existing behaviour change, health education, and communication strategies, frameworks, tools, materials, study protocols, and implementation processes, and identify operational gaps.
- To deliver new tools, materials, frameworks, and guidance documents for behaviour change, health education, and communication practitioners.
- To instil the need for a consistency in messaging with the need for flexibility to suit different geographical, cultural and use contexts
The priorities of the GSA Behaviour Change Working Group include but are not limited to:
- Developing a GSA Behaviour Change WG operational strategic framework
- Identifying, categorizing, and making available existing social, behavioural, health education, and communication tools, materials, frameworks, methodologies, and intervention strategies
- Conducting a gap analysis of existing social, behavioural, health education, and communication tools, materials, frameworks, methodologies, and intervention strategies to identify the need for new ones.
- Conducting a gap analysis and building a scientific understanding of people’s responses to previous social, behavioural, health education, and communication schistosomiasis intervention strategies that will help accelerate the maturation of the field, identify challenges in previous research, and identify a series of new key research questions.
- Identifying specific measurable indicators for social, behavioural, health education, and communication interventions in order to identify gaps, and develop tools for future intervention efforts
The GSA Behaviour Change WG will also look at:
- Experience in the field gained in other NTDs and the broader infectious disease landscape.
- Lessons to be learned from ICTC, GAELF, NNN, and others
Current members of the GSA Behaviour Change WG include respresentation from Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria; Imperial College, London, UK; Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kenya; Merck Schistosomiasis Elimination Programme; Ministry of Health, Zanzibar; Ministry of Health, Kenya; NALA Foundation; SCI Foundation; University of Glasgow, UK; World Vision.