National Action Research Study on the Behavioral Determinants to Bed Net Usage to Inform the 2017 National Bed Net Distribution in Togo
Project Launch: 3/9/17
Malaria is a leading cause of death of children under 5 in Togo. Despite repeated national programs to distribute bed nets, malaria remains an enormous problem. Recent investigative statistics have shown that of the Togolese households that received bed nets to protect sleeping family members from the biting mosquito that spreads the illness, less than one third reported having slept under a bed net the night before. Lack of behavior change is a cited barrier to rooting out malaria in Togo and this project hopes to better understand why those at risk have not effectively changed their behavior in order to prevent further exposure to malarial infection.
Project Update: 9/29/17
The action research team in Togo implemented a national study on the determinants to bed net behavior to inform the national mosquito net distribution that took place September 21-25, 2017. Since May 2017, PC Togo has been working with the PNLP, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Prefectural Health Directors, and local clinic staff throughout the country to use this data to inform distribution communications as well as to develop messaging and campaign materials for Community Health Workers (CHWs) and other community health agents. Initial findings have found key patterns differ between regions and ethnicities with regard to the use of bed nets and knowledge of malarial disease.
“This project was such a great learning experience. It involved PCVs and many different host country nationals working together across the country. This data will impact the Togolese people for a long time to come. Peace Corps Togo as a post has since shifted toward using the DBC and barrier analysis methodology. I am excited to see that Peace Corps Volunteers will now be doing more effective data-driven activities in their communities.”
– Yoonhee, Peace Corps Volunteer
“They did a good job of collecting this data. It is interesting and will help the distribution. Yoonhee and I shared this data with the prefectural health director and with the CHWs in our canton during a distribution meeting. Yoonhee gave the CHWs talking guides with data specifically for the Central Region, our ethnicity, and Muslims. These CHWs shared these while handing out nets at the distribution.”
– Nour, Project Participant
“The talking points were useful when doing my health talks in my community of Kpalada. I used them in my village-wide health talk during the childhood malaria prophylaxis campaign last week. ”
– Moussa, Project Participant
“Malaria is the number one cause of death in Togo, disproportionately affecting children under 5. Malaria affects the livelihood and autonomy of every Togolese person and accounts for enormous economic losses for communities. The findings of this barrier analysis will be used to determine how PCVs can best add value to the bed net distribution and assist PNLP in its implementation. Many Malaria Action Committee (MAC) members are involved in a joint working group with the M&E task force that manages the project, and MAC regional coordinators oversee PCVs conducting barrier analysis surveys in their respective regions. This project fulfills the goals of MAC: to implement malaria interventions to fit a community’s needs and circumstances, develop strategic partnerships with local organizations committed to malaria eradication throughout Togo, and build the capacity of PCVs and HCNs nationwide to promote malaria prevention and treatment-seeking behaviors.”
– Samantha, Peace Corps Volunteer
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