Climate change affects health in many ways. A key first step in addressing these impacts is effective communication, including a plan for mobilising action and engaging communities and various levels of government. This project involved the production of climate change and health communication strategies for government and UN agencies in Tanzania and Malawi and associated climate change and health initiatives.
This work was part of a 3-4 year-long relationship with Clim-Health Africa, the International Network for Climate and Health for Africa, supported by WHO and WMO. The development of these communication strategies followed on the heels of the Climate and Health Communication Strategy for Africa, written by our lead consultant, Tom, for WHO and Soul City Africa in collaboration with the South African Medical Research Council.
Developing climate change and health communication strategies for Tanzania and Malawi. Recommending and developing a suite of materials to support enhanced communication on health and environment. http://www.climhealthafrica.org/
Two communication strategies and the expansion of a website.
This work drew on Tom’s extensive experience as a communication strategy and evaluation consultant. He travelled to Tanzania and Malawi, and engaged in a number of workshops and dialogues. The aim was to improve national-level communication efforts on climate change and health.
Tom worked with national WHO and government representatives and met with a range of stakeholders and institutions to hear about the daily impact of climate change on health. Teams within the countries guided the work, enhancing ownership and sustainability.
In Malawi, Tom gave a press conference which was broadcast on national public television. He also participated in the development of a concept for an interactive tool for understanding the linkages between climate, region and vulnerability to malaria, cholera and more.
From the strategies that were developed, many communication tools were suggested. These included mobile-friendly websites, health advisories, social media content, and tailored decision-making tools. Also included were responsible journalism and media toolkits, guides for healthcare professionals and an online training course.
Developing the strategy documents also guided the development of specific country pages on the Clim-Health Africa website and a number of news items.
Both Malawi and Tanzania are now dealing with the issue of climate change and health head-on with some great communication initiatives.It is likely that other countries on the continent will soon follow suit.