Hygiene and Sanitation Promotion towards Cholera Prevention on District Level in Mozambique : A Communication Analysis
Abstract: Cholera remains a threat to public health in many developing countries, including Mozambique. Although the disease is easily preventable by practices of hygiene and sanitation, cases are reported in the country every year, as for example in the Lago district in 2015. This qualitative research project set out to explore in what ways the promotion of hygiene and sanitation practices on district level in Mozambique is carried out. Therefore, actors, messages and channels involved in these communication processes were explored via a field study in Lago and a review of relevant literature. Subsequently, the results of the field study and literature review were analysed by applying the concepts of one-way and two-way communication which are part of public relations theory. This analytical framework allowed the researchers to fill a gap identified in the existing literature about hygiene and sanitation promotion, which did not seem to include communication theories linked to public relation practices when it came to hygiene and sanitation promotion in developing countries as a method to prevent cholera. It has been found that the one-way communication approach towards the public was successful in handling the recent cholera outbreak of 2015, however, the approach is not substantial and should be improved into a two-way communication approach, which would allow the local population to express their needs in hygiene and sanitation, as well as their capabilities to implement change in these matters. Simultaneously, a lack of resources within the district authorities involved in hygiene and sanitation promotion seems to encourage one-way communication towards the public from their side, as two-way communication would demand further resources for research into the above mentioned needs and capabilities of communities.
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