The Executive Director, Centre for Communication Programmes Nigeria (CCPN), Ms. Babafunke Fagbemi, has said that Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) can improve healthcare delivery and access in Nigeria to attain the Sustainable Development Goals.
Stating this at the 10th anniversary of LSHC on the theme, ‘Repositioning SBCC towards Attainment of the SDG Goals’, held in Lagos State recently, she said the challenges to improve health status can often be attributed to demand side issues such as lack of correct information, negative attitudes and social norms that actually contribute to poor health statistics.
“SBCC can address these factors by working with results of research to develop effective, appealing and innovative campaigns that will address the root causes. Many African countries like South Africa, Ghana and Liberia, to name just a few, have embarked on SBCC campaigns to get the audience to change her behaviour. Nigeria can learn how these countries scaled up successful projects that have been implemented among a particular region in the country and work with the government to scale this verified success to national scale,” she explained.
Fagbemi said SBCC was cross cutting and once robust research is conducted, the results could inform the development of a communication strategy for any of the SDG Goals.
“The strategy then becomes the road map to make sure the correct research and theories are considered and this increases the likelihood that the campaigns will be effective. Again SBCC enables community action and this provides for great results if groups and communities exposed to SBCC campaigns are able to change the way they perceive things, drop misconceptions, negative attitudes and stereotypes, then we would be contributing to making our communities more health competent.”
Therefore, she urges government at all levels to first appreciate the role of SBCC.
Meanwhile, the Director for Training and Capacity Building, John Hopkins CCP, Dr. Benjamin Lozare, urged the graduating students of the LSHC to light as many candles as they can and save as many lives as possible.
“As we broaden the scope to use strategic communication not just in the health field but in other domains of nations development. I encourage every graduate to dedicate themselves to the noble path of saving others, achieve healthier and more meaningful lives.