As part of the new, innovative Integrated Case Management of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) program in Liberia, the Ministry of Health is developing creative health promotion materials to help people recognize symptoms of NTDs and encourage them to seek early treatment.
The Ministry of Health’s NTD Program and Health Promotion Team are working in partnership and have prioritised the input and feedback of the community in developing these materials. As a result of working in an integrated way across departments, the lessons learned from the recent Ebola outbreak around community engagement and mobilization have been shared and applied to ensure that the health messages are clear and relevant to the people who most need to respond to them. These new materials have been validated by the community and the Ministry of Health, and will now be rolled out nationally with support from the AIM Initiative, decreasing the mystery and stigma that surround these diseases, and providing the information that is needed to recognise and seek treatment for them.
The health promotion materials include a snappy jingle that is immediately resonating with listeners. While the community was testing a variety of jingles with one group of villagers, the group suddenly realized that one of the men with them had an ulcer that seemed like it might be Buruli ulcer. Now he can get the treatment he needs and help share the information with more people. Success!