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22,000 people in Mozambique die of tuberculosis (TB) each year. This is largely because people don’t promptly get tested and start their treatment course. To address this, we are piloting a radio campaign in Zambezia province to increase TB case-detection.
Tuberculosis case detection – encouraging testing and symptom recognition, challenging myths and stigma
12 x 1-minute radio spots in three languages
The radio campaign is broadcast for 6 months from September 2020 to March 2021 on 12 radio stations in Mozambique’s Zambezia province
2.5 million people
22,000 people die of tuberculosis (TB) in Mozambique every year. But despite the high incidence rate of the disease (551 TB cases per 100,000 people), 43% of all tuberculosis cases in Mozambique remain undetected. To address this, we are running a radio campaign to improve tuberculosis case-detection in Zambezia, with intensified broadcasting in high-burden districts. We will measure exposure to our campaign and collect health centre data on TB consultations and testing in Zambezia, and we will compare this to data from Tete province which will act as a control area.
We conducted desk-based research and interviews with community members and health workers in Zambezia to understand local knowledge, attitudes, and practices relating to tuberculosis in Zambezia. Barriers to behaviour change include misconceptions about the disease – such as beliefs that TB is caused by breaking social norms or witchcraft, that the symptoms aren’t serious and that treatment is expensive – and stigmatisation of those who have it. Our radio campaign is addressing these barriers, helps people recognise symptoms of the disease and encourages them to get tested, either in a health centre or by seeking out community health workers. Our spots also emphasise gender-specific factors that negatively affect TB case detection amongst women and men, such as lack of decision-making power to access health services for women.
We produced 12 radio spots for this campaign, each in Portuguese and the two most widely spoken local languages in Zambezia – Elomwe and Echwabu. We are working with Radio Moçambique and their regional broadcaster in Zambezia as well as 11 community radio stations to broadcast these spots 10 times a day, every day, for 6 months.
Listen to the spot
We are collecting health centre data to compare TB testing and diagnoses in Zambezia, our intervention province, and Tete, our control province. We will carry out qualitative research to understand exposure to our campaign as well as knowledge and intentions about TB amongst our target audience. We will also run an efficacy randomised controlled trial to measure the impact of our campaign messages on individuals’ knowledge and behaviours.
This project was funded by the Stop TB Partnership and was implemented with support from the Mozambique Ministry of Health’s National Tuberculosis Programme and local NGO Ajuda de Desenvolvimento de Povo para o Povo (ADPP).