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​Key Questions to Consider:

  • What​ issues are important to those working to as​sure health, equity, and sustainable development?
  • Who can help in addressing these issues, and how can we engage them?​
  • How will we promote and assure opportunities for taking action?
  • How will we make engagement easier and more rewarding?​

Core Activities:

  • Engage and assure opportunities for participation among those most affected, including groups experiencing social exclusion and health disparities
  • Assure and promote opportunities for meaningful engagement
  • Communicate benefits of taking action
  • Make participation easier and more rewarding
  • Provide training and support for taking action​​

​Field Note: Mobilising Communities to Address Ebola Virus Disease in Lofa County, Liberia

Map image of Liberia

Social mobilisation efforts occurred in September 2014 to address denial, fear, and panic in Lofa County, Liberia, a rural area experiencing high rates EVD. The MoH, UNICEF, WHO, and local health teams mobilised local youth and women associations to help with the task. Local members held community dialogues within their villages to provide accurate information about Ebola, demystify rumours, and communicate the benefits and provide training for protective behaviours among community members. Opportunities for meaningful engagement were assured for traditional leaders, Ebola survivors, and others most affected.​

Additionally, the MoH, UNICEF, WHO, and local communities in Lofa created Community Watch Groups to stop the relocation of community members in and out of Lofa County. This was particularly important for Lofa because it borders on highly affected areas in neighbouring Sierra Leone and Guinea. When people were found to have moved into Lofa County, they were reported to the town Chief who sent the local health teams to monitor their conditions. This was a critical form of community-led infection control since many people were coming to Lofa County because the Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) in Foyah was one of the best in the region. A lesson learned from the experience in Lofa is to assure high-quality ETUs throughout the country so people are able to get treated in a place closer to where they live.

[SOURCE: Case studies of Ebola re​sponse effort in Lofa and Margibi, Liberia. WHO Regional Office for Africa & World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Community Health and Development, University of Kansas http://communityhealth.ku.edu ]


Field Note: ​​Lesotho Says NO to Tobacco Advertising and Promotion on World No Tobacco Day

Map image of Lesotho

World No Tobacco Day was commemorated on May 31, 2013 in Thaba-Bosiu, Maseru District, under a very timely and relevant theme for Lesotho: "Ban Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship." Tobacco consumption in Lesotho is a major health problem; a recent NCD survey conducted by WHO reported that 50% of men smoke.

To demonstrate that Lesotho does not need to rely on the tobacco industry to run events, the Ministry of Health, with support from the World Health Organisation, organised a sports tournament for the youth of Thaba-Bosiu. Key health promotion messages on the dangers of tobacco use were shared routinely with the crowd throughout the tournament.

Multitudes of school children, teachers and community members began the commemoration of World No Tobacco Day 2013 with a march of solidarity to express their support for a ban. The marchers carried banners and placards, displaying this year's theme, to spread the key message for the day— "Free yourself." The tournament was then opened with health promotion speeches from the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organisation, and Blue Cross. The aim of this mobilisation effort was to make taking up tobacco use more difficult and less rewarding.

[SOURCE: This field note was contributed by: Health Promotion Officer in Lesotho.]


​Field Note: Mobilising for Health through Health Centre Committees in Zimbabwe

Map image of Zimbabwe

Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) introduced the concept of Health Centre Committees[1],[2],[3] (HCC) in the early 1980s to bridge the gap between health workers and communities. This was in the spirit of the Alma Ata declaration of 1978.  The MoHCC , with support from partners in civil society, started reviving HCC.

These HCCs played a vital role during th​e unprecedented cholera outbreak of 2008-2009 which caused 4,288[4] deaths. In response to the outbreak, HCC identified priority intervention areas with communities, spearheaded the mobilisation of stakeholders, particularly traditional leaders, religious leaders, community health workers, and at times humanitarian agencies. These stakeholders worked together with the HCC and the local community in implementing community-level participatory health and hygiene education, coordinated distribution of non-food items, reported cases, and mobilised local resources to support cholera treatment centres. Anecdotal evidence indicates that community-level cholera control interventions were better coordinated, more effective, and better sustainable in communities which had functional HCC.

[SOURCE: Chigariro T (WHO) and Tsoka S (MoHCW)]​

​Resources to Help You Mobilise:

Resources from the World Health Organization:

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CTB Troubleshooting Guide(s) for Solving Common Problems:


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