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Communications plan to tackle TB for SADC miners

Tuberculosis (TB), HIV and silicosis place a huge burden on mineworkers, ex-mineworkers, and their families and communities in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

In recognition of the need for a regionally coordinated response, the Wits Health Consortium (WHC) is implementing the TB in the Mining Sector (TIMS) programme in 10 southern African countries. The aim is to decrease the TB burden in southern Africa.

TIMS has interventions in place, including a communications strategy, which Genesis Analytics and Meropa Communications were contracted by WHC to develop. The objective of the communication strategy is to develop responsive messaging for the identified high-risk audience to influence better health seeking behaviour.

In order to develop this strategy, Genesis undertook extensive formative research (literature review, stakeholder consultations and a review of a Knowledge, Attitudes and Perceptions study) to ensure that the communication strategy:
• is evidence based;
• is relevant to the key target audiences;
• contains impactful messaging.

Based on our research, Meropa together with HPG Advertising, developed an educational flip chart and shot videos which aim to educate the target audiences about TB, HIV and silicosis.

Genesis Analytics was responsible for pre-testing the “starter pack” of communication materials with target audiences (mineworkers, ex-mineworkers, and families and communities) in South Africa and Zambia. The materials were pre-tested through focus-group discussions to establish the acceptability, accessibility and the understanding of the materials.

The insights and conclusions drawn from the pre-testing have been used to refine the materials. These communication materials (videos and flipcharts) will be tailored per country to reach the targeted populations and ultimately relieve the HIV, TB and silicosis burden in the region.

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