Project Main Details
But in some parts of the world, living a healthy life is not so easy. Even when health services are available, women and men still face barriers to their use.
Social and behavior change – or SBC – can be used in partnership with service delivery to eliminate these barriers.
SBC improves health outcomes along the service delivery continuum - before, during and after a person goes to a health facility.
Before clients go to a clinic, SBC creates a more supportive environment for those seeking healthcare services.
SBC also generates demand… and promotes social norms that allow people to feel supported in their decision to pursue services.
During their time at the clinic, SBC helps improve the clients’ overall experience.
It can empower clients to be active participants in counseling, remove provider biases, and build trust in the healthcare system.
After a service is provided, SBC can help clients maintain positive, healthy behaviors through consistent follow-up and support.
Such as encouraging a client to take medications as prescribed or return for additional services.
Health programs around the world demonstrate the power of SBC in improving health outcomes.
In Nepal, one SBC program focused on getting young married couples to clinics for family planning services, such as contraceptives.
An aspirational campaign promoted family planning as a smart decision. Community activities, interpersonal communication such as home visits, plus TV and radio spots drove potential clients to services.
Contacts and referrals to clinics for family planning services increased in the 13 districts where the program was implemented.
In Nigeria, providers were unnecessarily treating fever cases with malaria medicine before confirming a malaria diagnosis.
SBC addressed this phase of service provision through mass media, training, job aids, and supportive supervision – all to improve provider attitudes, norms and skills related to testing suspected cases of malaria before treating it.
Because of this campaign, sales of rapid diagnostic tests for malaria jumped and more malaria cases are now treated appropriately.
Finally, Swaziland is home to the one of the world’s worst HIV epidemics.
“Peer navigators” there helped female sex workers and men who have sex with men get access to treatment if they tested positive for HIV. The peer navigators also encouraged clients to stay on their antiretroviral treatment.
Because of consistent follow up and support from peer navigators, those testing positive got linked to the care they needed and stayed on treatment.
The evidence is clear. Better health outcomes are possible… When service delivery works hand in hand with social and behavior change.
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