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Planning, preparation, and evaluation toolkit

This document provides general guidelines for Mosquito Awareness Week 2017 in the Americas (subject matter, approach, and priority audience) for coordinators and implementers in the participating countries. These guidelines should be tailored to the specific local context in each country. 

Mosquito Awareness Week

Mosquito Awareness Week is an effort of the countries and territories of the Americas, promoted by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), to raise awareness and work with communities on the links between mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit, such as dengue, chikungunya, Zika, and yellow fever. 

In 2016, the first Mosquito Awareness Week in the Americas was held in the context of the health emergency caused by the Zika virus outbreak. In the affected countries, media campaigns focused on eliminating the mosquito and communicating about personal protective measures, especially for pregnant women, in support of efforts to reduce the risks associated with Zika virus disease. 27 out of the 36 countries of the Americas and territories engaged in various advocacy, communication, and awareness actions at different levels.

The initiative is expected to be implemented again in 2017 in all the countries and territories of the Region. This time, it will be planned farther in advance, tailoring the messages and communication strategies to each country's needs, working to standardize the recommendations PAHO has identified as best practices for strengthening the participation of different segments of the population in actions to prevent and control mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit. PAHO's aim is for this activity to become institutionalized as an annual, nationwide public health strategy.

Background

In 2014, during the 17th meeting of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), a work proposal was adopted to establish an annual Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week. This initiative took shape and was implemented from May 9 to 15, 2016, with the appearance of Zika virus (ZIKV) and the significant threat it posed to the health and economic security of the countries of the Region.

PAHO, together with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), established the first Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week--a social mobilization and communication activity with multinational and multisectoral coordinated actions to fight mosquitoes that transmit diseases. The campaign was carried out in 13 Caribbean countries and territories under the slogan: "Small bite, big threat. Fight the bite, destroy mosquito breeding sites."

In Latin America, the initiative also unfolded in 14 countries under the slogan "Al mosquito le ganamos entre todos" [We can beat mosquitoes together], from August to December 2016. In most countries, the week's activities were focused on and organized in the cities, municipalities, and geographic areas with the highest incidence of the diseases transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti, with significant participation by the local population.

All the activities required the collaboration of government and local authorities, and the participation of civic organizations, international organizations working on the ground, and grassroots organizations that work closely with people living in risk areas. 

Rationale

Vector-borne diseases (VBDs) represent a heavy burden of disease and mortality for individuals, families, and communities in areas at risk in the Americas. Their occurrence is related mainly to a disorganized domestic urban environment, lack of basic services such as water and household waste collection and disposal. The foregoing is compounded by weak health services networks that serve the vast majority of the population in these geographic areas, particularly public services.

According to PAHO/WHO data, since 2015, 48 countries and territories of the Americas have confirmed the transmission of Zika virus disease. As of April 2017, the countries of the Region had reported 132,951 cases of dengue, of which 14,264 were laboratory-confirmed, with 47 deaths resulting from the disease. In all, 22,419 suspected cases of the chikungunya virus were reported, of which 7,342 were confirmed.

Through epidemiological week 15 of 2017, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and Suriname had reported suspected and confirmed cases of yellow fever. In Brazil, from the initial outbreak in December 2016 through 12 April 2017, 623 confirmed cases of yellow fever were reported; 552 suspected cases were investigated and 209 deaths confirmed.

In September 2016, during the 55th Directing Council of PAHO, Member States approved a strategy to control arboviral diseases, including Zika, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. This new strategy recommends working to strengthen coordination between the health sector and communities and families by promoting active participation and access to information so the latter can take an active role in preventing and controlling arboviral diseases. Based on the lessons learned in 2016, it is necessary to continue actions that promote community participation in preventing vector-borne diseases. This can be accomplished by establishing responsibilities that enable governments to implement sustainable integrated strategies to control vectors and the diseases they transmit, and to forge strategic partnerships with other (national and international) agencies and organizations interested in joining forces and making Mosquito Awareness Week a more comprehensive, lasting activity. In light of the challenges that vector-borne diseases represent for countries in the Americas and given PAHO's acquired commitments, the Organization will continue to provide technical support for strengthening sustainable integrated strategies to control vectors and related diseases. One such action is planning and implementing Mosquito Awareness Week activities.

General objective

Increase knowledge and awareness among health workers, authorities, the general population and other key actors, regarding VBDs (transmitted by mosquitoes) and their associated risks; and promote greater political will to support disease management and the participation of all national sectors in vector control efforts, including the promotion and adoption of sustainable behavioral changes in different population groups, mainly health workers.

Specific objectives

  1. Implement Mosquito Awareness Week in all the countries of the Region, as part of the official agenda of annual health promotion and VBD prevention activities.
  2. Elevate the issue to the national agenda for decision-makers, with the commitment to promote/implement policies aimed at facilitating/improving conditions for preventing and controlling the vector (Aedes aegypti).
  3. Provide information, promote social mobilization and community participation to control the vector (Ae. aegypti) by eliminating its most common and productive breeding sites.
  4. Promote and facilitate intersectoral coordination among the public sector, private sector, civil society, international agencies, and other actors, for joint, coordinated action to mitigate VBDs. 
  5. Raise health workers' awareness of their role, as health providers, in disseminating information, and talking with patients about personal protection measures and how to eliminate mosquito breeding sites.

Audiences

Main audience:

  • Primary health care workers (physicians and nurses) in public and private health services.
  • Ministry of Health authorities.

Secondary audiences:

  • Entomologists and technical personnel in the vector control area.
  • Regional, municipal, and district authorities (governors, mayors) and community leaders.
  • Other ministries, such as education, tourism, foreign affairs, social development, ecology, etc.; private companies, civil society organizations, international cooperation agencies (national and local levels).
  • Faith institutions (churches and other).
  • Journalists
  • Communities, families, and individuals, with special emphasis on pregnant women.

Theme and slogan

The 2017 theme focuses on increasing the responsibility of health workers in hospitals and primary care services for disseminating information and talking with patients about measures to eliminate mosquito breeding sites and personal protection strategies to prevent the transmission of diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, Zika, and yellow fever. The theme also focuses on maintaining the care levels, alerting government workers, stakeholder groups and sectors, and the general population to this issue.

The main message should focus on "vector control," and the audience for this should specifically be health workers in public and private health services who work directly in the care of patients with the aforementioned diseases. Actions should be addressed accordingly.

The proposed actions should be geared not only towards promotion, but also towards clearly defined technical activities such as: in-service training (for physicians and 5 personnel who treat and care for patients) on the recommended actions for vector control in the home and workplace and personal protection measures to block contact between mosquitoes and humans.

This year slogan continues to build on the same slogan used in 2016:

Small bite, big threat
Fight the bite, destroy mosquito breeding sites

Main activities

Each country will determine best practices to reach priority audiences during Mosquito Awareness Week, with the aim of integrating and raising awareness among public, private, and civil society sectors. The following actions might be included in each country's work plan:

  •  Nationwide Mosquito Awareness Week launch event, with the participation of senior Ministry of Health authorities, representatives of cooperation agencies and civil society organizations, local authorities and leaders, students, and the general population.
  • Training workshops on how to communicate about preventing diseases transmitted by Ae. Aegypti. Dissemination of messages through professional networks aimed at health workers (physicians and nurses) working in primary care services.
  • Basic training and awareness workshops on social mobilization and communication for entomologists and technical personnel in vector control programs, so that they can provide advocacy and mobilization efforts on protection and elimination of mosquito breeding sites in the communities they serve.
  • Knowledge and refresher training forums on the prevention of diseases transmitted by Ae. aegypti to medical students about techniques to inform patients on vector control.
  • Knowledge, awareness, and advocacy activities with different units and areas of work at the municipal level (waste collection, water and water supply systems, parks, cleaning, recreation, sports, social development, cemeteries, etc.).
  • Informational, awareness-raising meetings with stakeholders, including the tourism sector, faith groups, civic organizations, flower and tire merchants, funeral services and private cemeteries, and the construction sector, on the impact of disease on the economy and the population, in order to elicit proposals for joint activities to reduce potential Ae. Aegypti breeding sites.
  • School events to teach children and young people about protection measures and elimination of breeding sites for mosquitoes that transmit diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, Zika, and urban yellow fever.
  • Community events involving dissemination of information on protection measures and elimination of mosquito breeding sites in fairs honoring patron saints, health fairs, educational fairs, and sporting and cultural events; and organized talks with 6 specific groups of pregnant women or women of childbearing age, older adults, and families.
  • Dissemination of information to the general population on prevention measures and elimination of breeding sites for mosquitos that transmit dengue, chikungunya, Zika, and urban yellow fever through traditional media, social networks, and alternative media.

Planning

  1. High-level advocacy and consensus in the Ministry of Health to organize and hold Mosquito Awareness Week in the countries of the Region.
  2. Coordination with the Ministries of Health, taking into account the experience from 2016, establishing clear, specific goals, possible dates and launch site of the main event, priority audiences, sectors of support and advocacy, budget, and available human resources to implement the main activities.
  3. Advocacy and intersectoral coordination to involve other actors who support activities to control vector-borne diseases (Ae. aegypti), including: United Nations agencies and other national and international cooperation agencies that have a presence in the priority areas and that work with key populations. Support for the countries of the Region of the Americas will include sharing communication materials, including the 2017 theme and slogan for the Region, as well as the proposed technical (knowledge-focused) events and innovative proposals for raising awareness in different audiences. In the future, a communications kit will be shared, with key messages on the main actions identified this year to promote vector control and the elimination of breeding sites, together with proposed activities to promote and disseminate Mosquito Awareness Week.

Evidence and evaluation

Each country will prepare a document highlighting the main outcomes based on indicators (see attached Annex), taking into account the following elements:

  1. Report on the Mosquito Awareness Week launch event 
  2. Report on the different activities conducted during Mosquito Awareness Week
  3. Monitoring of traditional media and social networks for messages, announcements, and news shared and their reach in the population
  4. Documentation of activities (photographs, videos, news, and other)
  5. Documentation of best practices and lessons learned during Mosquito Awareness Week (copy of the audiovisual and print materials used as communication products)

Tools for organizing Mosquito Awareness Week

Template for objectives, audiences, and strategies

Name of the country/territory:
Date for Mosquito Awareness Week:
Country contact for event organization:
Specific needs identified for PAHO support: 

LEVEL

OBJECTIVE

AUDIENCE

ORGANIZATIONS AND/OR INSTITUTIONS TO REACH

SPECIFIC STRATEGIES AND/ORG ACTIVITIES

NATIONAL/FEDERAL/REGIONAL

EXAMPLE: Intersectoral coordination for organizing Mosquito Awareness Week

EXAMPLE: Representatives of Ministries, other sectors, companies, civil society, academia, etc.

etc. EXAMPLE: Number of organizations participating in planning and organization

Working and organizational meetings Preparation of press release for the launch Invitation to the media to disseminate the event Definition of the activities of each party involved, and evaluation proposal.

LOCAL

EXAMPLE: Organization of educational activities for children.

Boys and girls ages 5 to 12

No. of children in the municipality/locality

Events in schools Children's theater on the subject 

Launch of the app/video game 

Mural competition on the subject

.

Launch event template

SITE

DATE

LEVEL
(national, regional, local)

CHAIR

SPECIAL GUESTS
(authorities, experts, community leaders, etc)

AUDIENCE
 espectadores)

OBJETIVO

RESPONSIBLE PARTY

Indicator Reference

Each country should establish its indicators based on the activities conducted. This proposal takes into account the following objectives: 

  1. Elevate the issue to the national agenda for decision-makers, with the commitment to promote/implement policies aimed at facilitating/improving conditions for preventing and controlling the vector (Aedes aegypti). 
  2. Promote and facilitate intersectoral coordination among the public sector, private sector, civil society, international agencies, and other actors, for joint, coordinated action to mitigate VBDs.
  3. Provide information and promote social mobilization and community participation and empowerment to control the vector (Ae. aegypti) by eliminating its most common and productive breeding sites. 
  4. Increase the level of knowledge and thus individual awareness of the importance of self-care to prevent diseases transmitted by the vector, especially pregnant women (in the context of ZIKV) and women of childbearing age, and the importance of seeking care in health services.

Obj. 1. Indicators of political priority

  • Number of authorities and delegates from other sectors who participated in events to organize and launch Mosquito Awareness Week (international, national, regional, or local)
  • Number of national or local public institutions that participated in organizing actions to control and reduce risk factors associated with the vector (Ae. Aegypti) in the population

Obj. 2. Indicators of intersectoral/interinstitutional coordination

  • Number of meetings held by the national committees to organize Mosquito Awareness Week
  • Number of agencies and organizations that have participated in Mosquito Awareness Week activities

Obj. 2 Indicators of integrated interventions

  • Number of events organized by local health centers, civic organizations, private companies, and municipalities to inform and motivate the population about measures for self-care against mosquito bites
  • Number of volunteers/activists who participated in Mosquito Awareness Week

Obj. 3. Training indicators

  • Number of physicians sensitized about the importance of their role in disseminating information on control of mosquito breeding sites and protection measures
  • Number of nurses and personnel at the first level of care sensitized about the importance of their role in disseminating information on control of mosquito breeding sites and protection measures
  • Number of forums, seminars, or conferences in which the academic community participated on subjects related to the control of mosquito breeding sites and protection measures
  • Number of health promotion workers trained on vector control during Mosquito Awareness Week

Obj. 3. Indicators of information delivery

  • Number of television announcements on Mosquito Awareness Week on national or local channels
  • Number of radio announcements on Mosquito Awareness Week on national or local stations
  • Number of Web posts on Mosquito Awareness Week in national or local outlets
  • Number of radio announcements (outside and alternative advertising) on Mosquito Awareness Week on national or local stations
  • Number of communication products disseminated for Mosquito Awareness Week
  • Number of journalists sensitized and informed about the main measures to protect against mosquito bites and the objectives of Mosquito Awareness Week
  • Number of articles on Mosquito Awareness Week published in the national and local press
  • Number of messages disseminated about Mosquito Awareness Week activities in the Ministry's official channels (Ministry Web page, Minister's Twitter account, etc.)
  • Number of people participating in conversations on Mosquito Awareness Week on social networks

Obj. 4. Indicators of activities to prevent diseases transmitted by the vector (Ae. Aegypti)

  • Number of clinics, hospitals, and/or health services that held talks for women of childbearing age on the risks of Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases
  • Number of people informed about the warning signs of dengue, chikungunya, Zika, and yellow fever at community and school events
  • Percentage of municipalities with vector control and breeding site elimination plans, with a community mobilization component
  • Number of health centers that participated in Mosquito Awareness Week activities
  • Number of community events to demonstrate mosquito breeding site elimination and the impact of mosquito-borne diseases

Obj. 4. Indicators of public awareness and confidence in the health services

  • Number of people interviewed about Mosquito Awareness Week, knowledge of transmission of the disease by the vector (Ae. Aegypti), as well as associated risks, elimination of breeding sites, visits to health services, etc.
  • Number of people surveyed and/or interviewed about the information received from health services on vector-borne diseases and how to prevent them, as well as timely care for health workers in cases related to diseases such as Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and urban yellow fever.