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Issues that we focus on
Our focus is on changing behaviours related to reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH). We work along the ‘continuum of care’ for mothers and children, from pre-pregnancy to delivery, the immediate postnatal period, and childhood (read PMNCH's analysis of the continuum of care, or Countdown to 2015 on coverage along this continuum). We also work on wider health issues (including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria) where there is an opportunity to improve health outcomes through behaviour change.
We change behaviours at three levels: in households, in the wider community, and in people’s use of health facilities and services. We target recent and expectant mothers, but also men and members of the wider community. We prioritise behaviours related to interventions that will save lives*, but we also work to reduce morbidity and suffering.
Media campaigns that change the behaviours of children and their parents have real potential to increase child and maternal survival rates. Our 12 priority countries have been chosen because they have high child and maternal mortality rates and also have higher than average media penetration, so that the impact of a media campaign is maximised.
Because our campaigns focus on a range of health issues, rather than on single ‘vertical’ topics, we can impact a wide range of policy priorities along the continuum of care, without losing impact in any single area. For example, campaigns designed around child mortality can also reduce neonatal mortality and maternal mortality by promoting the benefits of giving birth in a health centre and of improved nutrition. We can also design campaigns to change behaviours related to family planning, nutritional needs for mothers and young children, improved hygiene and sanitation, and neglected tropical diseases.
We are in a good position to impact four of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), most of which will not be reached in many countries by the 2015 target date:
By 2030 injuries from Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs) will be the third biggest contributor to worldwide mortality. There are a number of issues which can be targeted by an effective mass media campaign and are likely to have a sizeable impact on reducing injuries and death.
* For more information about priority interventions, refer to PMNCH Essential Interventions, Millions Saved, the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities, and Disease Control Priorities 2 / Priorities in Health.