SMART, in collaboration with Global Health Strategies (GHS), carried out a month-long campaign in February, 2023, to spread awareness on drug administration for Lymphatic Filariasis (LF), a Neglected Tropical Disease. The campaign focused especially on targeting sustained messaging for the Bi-Annual Mass Drug Administration(MDA) launched by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare this year.
SMART partnered with 22 CR stations spread across the 7 high burden states which assisted the local authorities in creating awareness on MDA-IDA and the strategy for elimination of LF. The campaign designed by SMART used both broadcast and community engagement and mobilization for creating awareness, addressing fear and stigma surrounding the disease. The community radio partners connected with medical fraternity and local health officers to gather credible information regarding drug administration.
Press coverage and social media platforms were leveraged to spread information regarding the mass drug administration of three main drugs provided by the health department in all intervention states February 10 onwards. Community radios worked closely with frontline workers- ASHA, AWW and PHCs- to mobilize communities through narrowcast and door-to-door interactions. Each community radio broadcast episodes on information regarding LF, along with sustained messaging on MDA. Interviews with medical experts and question and answer sessions with them were also included in the programmes.
Post the conclusion of the campaign the average percentage of drugs administered in the intervention districts was noted to increase by 75%.