INFORMATION, EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION:
The following are the various strategies and tools of communication formulated for creating awareness and bringing about Behavioural Change Communication to the public and targeted population in the state.
This medium uses tools of Information Communciation Technology such as Print and Electronic Media as modes of disseminating the messages related to HIV and AIDS to the masses. These tools include Newspapers, Leaflets, Pamphlets, Posters, Banners, Radio, Television and Convergent Media such as social media.
This type of communication that is active or engagement-oriented reaches out to groups of people through locally conducted interactive media formats. Mid media channels consist of folk drama and folk performance, street theatre, puppet shows, IEC vans, and also fairs and exhibitions. The last one – fairs and exhibitions or haats and bazaars – use the advantage of naturally occurring gatherings to reach out to people. The people have gathered there anyway for an occasion and the communicator tries to use this natural situation to communicate some important health messages.
Mid media channels go a long way in complementing other media channels. It facilitates a two-way extended engagement with different segments of the audience. Also, it supports other channels in areas with poor geographies by providing messages in local context. Proper and correct implementation of active and engaging mid media needs extensive training to support effective field execution.
Local forms including folk forms, street play, puppet shows, tend to have lot of variations from area to area. Popular street theatre tends to draw ideas from the local context. The following below are the various outdoor and mid media in use for HIV/AIDS dissemination of messages.
Permanent Hoardings: This tool of communication acts as point of display when strategically placed at various locations. This type of communication has a longer life span and visibility. Few strategic location MACS used Hoardings are Hospitals, Institutions and Market areas. They also serve as publicity purposes for events.
Red Ribbon Phawar Star: Phawar is known to the people of the Khasi Hills as a popular folk genre whereby people compose and perform on various themes, ranging from social, political issues to general every day topics, usually sung on festive occasions. These prose like songs, have become so popular that the lyrics and the content of these phawars command great recall value. In order to capitalize on this popular folk art, MACS organized this competition where particpants must composed lyrics incorporating HIV and AIDS related themes. This was done with the objective that based on the popularity of this genre, people will immediately recall back the HIV and AIDS messages in the Phawars whenever they hum or sing these tunes. The contestants composed on different themes such as:
Mass IEC Campaign at Traditional Festivals of the state:The Khasis, Jaintias and Garos of Meghalaya celebrate several festivals. These traditional festivals formed an integral part of the faith and believe system of the people of Meghalaya. They are full of joy and happiness which is expressed outwardly in the form of dance, feast and worship.
Through piggy bagging in traditional festivals, MACS intends to integrate the messages on HIV/AIDS and other related issues into the core of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo Society. As part of Piggy bagging various IEC activities can be implemented.
ROAD SHOW: Meghalaya AIDS Control Society usually tied up with FM Station in conducting Road Shows in some of the vulnerable areas of all districts of Meghalaya with an aim to spread awareness on issues related to HIV/AIDS where RJs of the stations conducted competitions and also sensitized people on related topics. For each stoppage during the Road Shows, Prizes were handed out to people who were able to answer questions correctly.
Village Level Awareness Camps:
This is a MACS funded awareness camps at village level which are oragnised by various groups, organisations, stakeholders, etc. The VLAC will be held in various districts with more concentration in the High Risk areas especially Khasi and Jaintia Hills District
World AIDS Day, National Voluntary Blood Donation Day, International Day against Drug Abuse, World Blood Donors Day, International Youth Day, National Youth Day were observed.
Multimedia Campaign: Meghalaya AIDS Control Society (MACS) played an integrated role for HIV/AIDS prevention and control programs under NACP-IV. Activities have been targeted through various strategies to raise the awareness amongst the HRGs and the general population; in particular, the vulnerable group i.e. youth. In all the different Sub components under IEC, efforts have been made so as to create and disseminate information amongst the masses to reach out to the different sub groups residing both in the rural as well as the urban areas. The IEC Campaign is strategized by taking into account the previous year’s gaps and prioritized areas/districts. Mass media, mid-media, outdoor and radio is extensively used to carry out the various IEC activities and campaigns. Special efforts were also made to reach out to the youth population through MULTIMEDIA CAMPAIGN.