Information, Education, Communication (IEC) & Social Mobilisation
Information, Education and Communication (IEC) is a process that informs, motivates and helps people to adopt and maintain healthy practices and life skills. It aims at empowering individuals and enabling them to make correct decisions about safe behaviour practices. IEC also attempts to create an environment that is conducive and supports access to treatment and services for those already infected. In the absence of a vaccine or a cure, prevention is the most effective strategy for the control of HIV/AIDS and therefore communication is one of the most important strategies in the fight against HIV/AIDS and STDs. The second phase of the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) gives highest priority to an effective and sustained strategy to bring about changes in behaviour to prevent further infection. A full range of activities and approaches from mass media campaigns for the general public to target specific interventions to help individuals to negotiate safer practices are being adopted. IEC programmes have also been integrated in various components of the programme such as STD services, Condom promotion, Blood safety, TIs, etc.
Basic objectives of the IEC strategy:
- To raise awareness, improve knowledge and understanding among the general population about AIDS infection and STD, routes of transmission and methods of prevention.
- To promote desirable practices such as avoiding multi-partner sex, condom use, sterilization of needles/syringes and voluntary donation of blood.
- To mobilize all sectors of society to integrate messages and programmes on HIV/ AIDS into their existing activities.
- To train health workers in AIDS communication and coping strategies for strengthening technical and managerial capabilities.
- To create a supportive environment for the care and rehabilitation of persons with HIV/AIDS.
The various components of the IEC strategy for raising awareness, behavioural change and social mobilizations are:
• Use of mass media
• Advocacy at various levels
• Inter-sectoral collaboration
• Involvement of NGOs
• Red Ribbon Clubs
Some of the activities undertaken by Goa State AIDS Control Society to raise the awareness levels and to bring about behaviour changes are:
- General education programmes on HIV/AIDS are conducted for the youth organizations, voluntary bodies, Government departments, women, high-risk groups, schools, colleges, industrial estate workers, etc.
- Since 2007, 143 Red Ribbon Clubs (RRCs) have been established in various educational Institutions in Goa.
- Live phone-in Programmes are being conducted on FM Radio as well as on Doordarshan to create awareness on HIV/AIDS.
- Bus panels providing information on various services to control HIV/ AIDS were displayed on the KTCL buses.
- Bus Shelter wherein in Goa SACS services were displayed.
- Displayed messages with pictures on Blood Safety, HIV/AIDS, STI/RTI, Stigma, Goa Services etc on Bus Shelter
- Monthly e-Bulletin carrying the activities organized by Goa SACS is regularly published and the same is being uploaded in the official website.
- Signboards providing information on various services to control HIV/ AIDS are displayed at prominent places.
- A mobile exhibition van with educational material on HIV/AIDS travels to all the college campuses to create awareness on HIV/AIDS among the youth and general population.
- Elocution, Quiz and Poster Competitions are conducted during October to December at School, Higher Secondary School and College level.
- Mid Media campaign is conducted through a hired agency, wherein street plays are conducted along with IEC through mobile van. Annually, about 200 Street plays are proposed to be held.
- Hoardings at strategic locations are erected for awareness generation on HIV/AIDS.
- Adolescence Education Program has been initiated through SCERT where Sexual Health Education and Life Skill Education are imparted.
- Video spots /Awareness promos on HIV/AIDS are screened on cable network channels throughout Goa.
- Audio spots are played on AIR and FM radio.
- Televisions are installed in-patient and out-patient departments of GMC for screening of spots on HIV/AIDS during the OPD hours.
- Handbills and pamphlets on STD and HIV/AIDS produced in different languages.
- Posters on STDs/HIV/AIDS/Blood Safety/Post Exposure Prophylaxis, etc. are produced and distributed to all the Hospitals, Health Centres, NGOs, etc.
- World AIDS Day is observed on 1st December every year at State level and at all the Primary Health Centres as also by the NGOs.
- Voluntary Blood Donation Day is observed on 1st October every year. Regular voluntary blood donors and NGOs who organize regular voluntary Blood Donation Camps are felicitated.
- Observance of World Blood Donors day on 14th June every year and International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on 26th June.
- Observance International Youth Day on 12th August every year and National Youth Day 12th January every and Anti
- Informative sessions/ open forum on HIV/ AIDS/ STDs are organized for industrial workers, police personnel and postal staff. All queries, doubts, misgivings on sex, sexuality and other related topics are answered by a team of doctors at the work place.
B: Awareness in Educational Institutions
- Talks on HIV/AIDS are given by the Health Officers/Medical Officers in schools and colleges in their jurisdiction.
- Programme on HIV/AIDS have been carried out at the PTA meetings in different schools in Goa.
- Question-answer sessions have been held in different educational institutions where a panel of resource persons from the GSACS and GMC answer the questions asked by the students anonymously.
- To catalyze an expanded response towards HIV/AIDS epidemic, Goa SACS has inter-sectoral collaboration with all the Govt. Departments, NGOs, industries, political leaders, etc. by networking and advocacy.