Social mobilization enhances community participation for sustainable Dengue Fever / Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever control and prevention programmes.
Activities include :
- Declaration of Mosquito Control Weeks and media seminars.
- Production of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials.
- Advertising campaigns through electronic and print media to create awareness among public on control / prevention strategies & to promote health seeking behavior.
Communication for Behavioural Impact
The strategies for the prevention and control of dengue include prompt diagnosis of fever cases, management or elimination of larval habitats in and around homes, work settings, schools, etc, and reducing human vector contacts.
Communication for behavioural impact (COMBI), espoused by WHO, is an innovative approach to fill this gap to mobilize individual and family action, utilizing social mobilization and communication to bring measurable changes in behavior. It helps to plan, implement and monitor a variety of communication actions intended to engage individuals for adoption of healthy behaviours.
COMBI objectives include the clear identification of the target audience, a detailed description of the behaviour being promoted and the frequency of the behaviour, the measurable impact that is desired over a specific time period. In other words, the objectives should be ‘SMART’ (specific, measurable, appropriate, realistic, time-bound).
- Specific: who or what is the focus; what change(s) are intended.
- Measurable: specified quantum (e.g. % change intended).
- Appropriate: based on target needs and aimed at specific health-related benefits.
- Realistic: can be reasonably achieved.
- Time-bound: specific time period to realize the objectives.
COMBI thus entails purposive and tailor-made strategic communication solutions intended to engage a specific target audience into responsive action.
In developing the preliminary objectives, suitable recommendations for action by different segments should be considered.
- Whose behaviour should be changed to bring about the desired outcomes? Who is the target audience?
- What is required to be done? Is it feasible? Is it effective?
- Why are they not doing it now? What are the barriers and motivators?
- What activities can address the factors most influential to change behaviour?
- Are materials/products/services needed to support those activities? If yes, are those easily available? If not, what should be done?
The behavioural objectives, target groups and key messages currently used are stated below:
Behavioural objectives and target groups:
- To prompt housewives in 80-90% of homes in MOH areas to remove dengue breeding sites in their houses and surroundings at least once a week.
- To prompt principals and teachers in 80-90% of schools to keep their school premises free of dengue breeding sites through regular inspections every Monday and Thursday.
- To establish “Dengue Prevention Committees” in all government institutions to inspect and remove dengue breeding sites in their premises and surroundings at least once a week.
- To motivate patients with fever for more than 02 days to seek treatment from a qualified doctor
- Every Sunday for 30 minutes, inspect your house and surrounding for dengue breeding sites. Remove or destroy them.
- Every Friday for 30 minutes, inspect your school premises for dengue breeding sites. Remove or destroy them.
- Seek treatment from a qualified doctor, if you have fever for more than 02 days.
- Do not take pain killers/ anti-inflammatory drugs, if you have fever.
Enforcement of law against offenders
Enforcement of law against the offenders who are keeping dengue mosquito breeding places in his/her premises which will endanger the lives of others.
A major obstacle to effective implementation of selective/ integrated mosquito control has been the inability to achieve and sustain expected desired behaviour. Despite growing levels of knowledge and awareness about dengue and mosquitoes, adopting and maintaining effective and feasible new behaviour which remains a challenge.
Special Target Groups
1. Mosquito Control in Construction Sites
Check for mosquito breeding in the following places:
- Discarded receptacles and building wastes in the worksite and site offices
- Building materials, canvas sheets, equipment and machinery
- Puddles on the concrete floors of all upper levels and basements
- Water storage drums, tanks and containers
- Bulk waste containers
- Lift wells
- Safety barriers
- Rooftops and water tanks
- Treatment plants
- Any other water-bearing receptacles
Destruction of mosquito breeding sites
Destroy/ eliminate all mosquito breeding sites found during the inspection.
Report to the construction site supervisor and the head of the institution of the relevant authority all the breeding detected and the potential breeding habitats observed so that appropriate interim or permanent measures can be taken to eliminate the potential breeding grounds.
It is not mandatory to conduct fogging at construction sites. Fogging treatment should only be done when there is an impending disease outbreak or epidemic situations in the area.
Given below is a list of selected larvicides for general use
Links to Formats
2. Prevention of mosquito breeding places in schools and education institutes
Recent entomological surveys and routine school inspection programmes conducted by health teams detected that 60% of the schools have potential for dengue breeding habitats. Ministry of Education is one of the main responsible ministries in Presidential Task Force. It has been given a mandate to engage all schools and higher education institutes to conduct clean –up campaigns.
Activities conducted in schools
- Establishment of dengue committees in schools.
- Dividing the school environment to different zones and giving the responsibility of each zone to different class rooms.
- Allocation of one hour on a selected day per week to remove mosquito breeding sites with the participation of all teachers and students (e.g. Friday morning from 11.00am to 12.00 noon).
- Inspection of the school premises weekly by the school dengue committee and provision of a report weekly to the Principal.
- Carrying out the above mosquito control measures at the school hostels or boarding houses, vacant school buildings and construction sites in schools.
- Development of proper waste management systems in schools/higher education centers.
- All Principals should submit a monthly report to the Zonal Director and to the relevant MOH.
- Have a proper plan to conduct clean up campaigns before and during the school vacations and just before the school starts.
- Maintaining a fever register for school children.
Check for mosquito breeding in the following places within school premises
- Discarded receptacles in open areas and under bushes in school premises
- Open and closed drains
- Cement lined ground ponds
- Tree holes, bamboo stumps and leaf axil
- Refuse bins and bin covers, especially when unused
- Scupper drains in common corridors
- Flower pots, plant pots and saucers and other ornamental structures
- Air-conditioner trays
- Unused equipments and other items for e.g. canvas sheets, dustpans, tyres, broken plastic chairs etc at storage areas
- Cement rooftops and roof gutters
- Water storage tanks
- Unused/ broken cisterns and bowls of toilets
- Any other water-bearing receptacles
Following measures can be taken to eliminate mosquito breeding in the school premises during the inspection
- Ensure the water storage tanks are properly covered and all drainage outlets are sealed
- Collect and burn, bury or dispose the discarded containers properly
- Use larvivorous fish in ground level water storage tanks
- Discourage planting of water holding plants in its axils
- Take immediate action to remove unwanted stored (inventory) items
- Clean blocked roof gutters
- Report to the school management committee of all the breeding sites detected and the potential breeding habitats observed, so that appropriate interim or permanent measures can be taken to eliminate the potential breeding grounds.