CD implementation Step 7

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Develop SBCC Plan and Begin Implementation


  • Integrate Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) plans around CD into existing malaria and ITN communications strategies and plans.
  • Develop and produce SBCC materials.


  • Continuous Distribution SBCC plan—segmented by audience/CD channel, include pre- and post-distribution activities.
  • SBCC materials developed, produced, and contracts issued.


  • Review Social and Behavior Change for Insecticide-treated Nets Toolkit to guide all SBCC activities.
  • Review current data on update and use of ITNs to determine aspects where SBCC can improve access rates.
  • Review evidence on effectiveness of SBCC materials and activities in-country.
  • Develop materials and tools linked to need and based on available evidence—ideally through the modification of existing materials, where appropriate.
  • Print materials.
  • Issue contracts for SBCC partners.
  • Disseminate materials and conduct SBCC activities.

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  • Every country should have an evidence-based SBCC strategy for malaria, which should contain a section on ITNs. There may be an ITN communications strategy in which key messages for CD should be incorporated.
  • Messages and materials should be completely harmonized across distribution channels.
  • Social mobilization to increase awareness of availability and uptake should make community members aware of the range of options they have for accessing ITNs.
  • The plan should include the following aspects:
    • Advocacy: To influence public-policy and resource allocation decisions, at international, national, and sub-national levels.
    • Social mobilization: to ensure awareness of ITN availability—through all channels—encourage uptake of ITNs.
    • BCC: To reinforce key messages about malaria prevention, the effectiveness of ITNs, biological risk factors, the importance of an ‘how-to’ tips for hanging the ITN correctly and promptly, using ITNs every night, and giving priority to vulnerable groups, if and when sufficient ITNs are not available.
  • The following channels will likely be needed:
    • Mass media (radio and/or TV)
    • Interpersonal communication
    • Individual print media

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Channel specific guidance

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  • Messaging should include the importance prioritizing pregnant women and infants for ITN use.
  • Messaging can also promote the idea that ITNs received through ANC and EPI visits can be given to other members of the family, if the pregnant woman/caregiver-infant pair already have an ITN. The important message is that everyone in the household should be protected, and the household decides which nets are used for which sleeping areas.
  • The VectorWorks document, Guide to Health Facility-based Distribution of Insecticide-treated Nets,  provides more detail on these issues.

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  • fSocial mobilization is critically important for community-based distributions as it raises awareness of the availability of ITNs and the eligibility criteria.
  • A focus should be on raising community understanding of the need for eligibility criteria and the rationale for selecting the criteria. If community representatives are already involved beginning in the design stage, this process will be far easier.
  • Community-based distribution has much less need for mass or print media; it is very likely that the tasks of social mobilization and BCC can be carried out through interpersonal communication, or local radio. The roles of the coupon distributors and, perhaps, community-based ITN distributors are unique to this model; they provide an important opportunity for strong interpersonal communications.
  • The VectorWorks document, Guide to Community-based Distribution of Insecticide-treated Nets, provides more detail on these issues.

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  • Many countries already include malaria as part of health matters covered in their curriculum. If a school-based distribution is planned, it is ideal if students are exposed to key messages as part of this curriculum in class. This document gives some ideas for using malaria messaging in schools.
  • Messaging should include the message that the ITN is for the household, not necessarily the pupil who received it. As with health facility distribution, the household decides how its ITNs should be allocated. Pilot programs have found that students often feel the ITN they receive is ‘theirs’, even if the student already has access to a net.
  • The VectorWorks document, Guide to School-based Distribution of Insecticide-treated Nets, provides more detail on these issues.

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Examples of SBCC tools from a range of countries are available here:


This post is also available in: Français (French)