Examining the relevance of participatory communication in the distribution of insecticide-treated nets in Uganda.
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The study explores the role of participation in Malaria control communication in Uganda. To achieve that objective, the study was divided into four major parts. The first part looked at how participatory communication is used in the distribution of Insecticide-Treated Mosquito Nets (ITNs). The second part assessed the types of participatory communication used in the universal bed net project, while the next part explored the challenges of participatory communication in Malaria Control using ITNs. The last part gave recommendations on how participatory communication can enhance Malaria control. Using the case of Luweero district, the study is premised on the background that community participation and empowerment have a potential to impact on malaria control. Many policies such as the National Health Strategy (1997-2007) and the National Malaria Strategic Plan (2001-2007), are agreement with this view as they believe that the point of departure for any development programme should be the target community, which factor calls for ‘inclusivity’ of all the stakeholders at all the stages. Therefore, the process of development should emanate from the grassroots through a bottom-up strategy that allows the affected people to identify the development problem, solutions to such problems and how such solutions can be actualized. The theoretical framework for this thesis is Participatory communication. The study looks at how participatory communication can enhance Malaria Control programmes in Uganda. The study used qualitative methods of Focus Group Discussions and in-depth interviews for data collection. Through the use of Focus Group Discussions and in-depth interviews, the major finding of this thesis is that ‘stakeholder involvement’ is key to effective health communication, using ITNs intervention. The research draws conclusions and proposes other areas of inquiry on how to enhance Participatory Communication for Malaria Control. The researcher recommends a ‘Community media’ model to allow for community access and participation, coupled with relevant information on Malaria Control to meet the audience’s information needs so as to achieve the desired policy goals.