This comprehensive review of BCC/IEC on health was conducted for National Health Education, Information and Communication Centre (NHEICC), Ministry of Health and Population.
In this report, IEC policies, programs and activities in various aspects of Essential Health Care Services and beyond are reviewed. Attempts were made to identify gaps and shortcomings and suggestions and recommendations were made for programme improvements.
Foundation of preventive and promotive health care in Nepal started with opening of Vector Borne Disease Control Unit at capital valley Dang in 1957. The main purpose of this set up was to support the eradication of malaria from the country. Subsequently, health education section was establishment at the Department of Health Services in 1961. The significant activities carried out at the beginning of the program were as follows-
In early days, more focus was given on the patients at hospital clinics and people at project site. The health education, information and communication (HEIC) program package did not have pre-service orientation to newly recruited health personnel but later development was encouraging and the coverage of HEIC was extended to certain specific areas with due priority.
The activities of the NHEICC were completely integrated with the existing structure of the MoHP by which it provides upgraded health education and promotional activities focusing on essential health care services and beyond. It is responsible for IEC/BCC policy, plan, strategy, programme and activities of all health programs and services of government. The multi-media (interpersonal, group, mass and folk media) approaches have been used to disseminate health messages to the target audiences. There are many IEC/BCC activities at the central, regional, district and community levels based on the approaches used. Community mobilization activities have been planned to mobilize community at the rural level. In order to ensure the effective implementation, monitoring and evaluation of activities, NHEICC keeps a close coordination and collaboration with the community, district and regional level health offices including line agencies.
The primary beneficiaries of the NHEICC programs are the general public whereas the specific target audiences are identified depending on the messages to be disseminated. Similarly, some of the programmes of NHEICC are targeted to health staff, FCHVs, school teachers and students etc.