The Bilharzia Prevention Communication Campaign was implemented by the Uganda Ministry of Health Vector Control Division, with technical assistance from The Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, and funding from an American philanthropist.
The campaign ran from August 2017 through May 2018 and reached a large proportion of Ugandans living in endemic areas of the country. It raised awareness about the disease along with how to prevent it, and encouraged many to adopt preventive practices.
The media campaign plan focused on two primary audiences in Bilharzia endemic districts of Uganda:
- Adults who are at high risk of Bilharzia. These include parents of children who are also at risk. These adults and children have frequent contact with lakes, wetlands or rivers.
- School-aged children (five –twelve years old) living near lakes, wetlands or rivers.
The campaign aimed at raising awareness about the disease, building a sense of vulnerability, and encouraging three practices to reduce one’s risk of Bilharzia:
- Avoid direct contact with lake, river, or wetland water;
- Take the Bilharzia medicine distributed free of charge in schools and communities; and
- Use latrines or toilets, and never defecate or urinate in or near a water body.
The campaign tools, materials and the process followed are presented in a special Compass Spotlight on the campaign and on this page.