Malaria - the facts are on the cards. A consumer health education project Project Aim To disseminate reliable and relevant consumer information on the prevention and timely treatment of malaria. Collaborating Partners Commonwealth Pharmaceutical Association International Pharmaceutical Federation World Health Organisation The Malaria Fact Card Accessible at community level Supports national treatment guidelines Integrates easily into existing health infrastructures Advantages of a Pharmacy Distribution Network Pharmacists highly respected within their communities Pharmacists have expertise and good communication skills Pharmacists are the most accessible of all health professionals Zimbabwe – location for pilot project Target group – literate urban dwellers National collaborative partners – Ministry of Health, Pharmaceutical Society, pharmaceutical industry, community pharmacy organizations. Launched with extensive media coverage Outcomes – Card incorporated into Ministry’s on-going malaria awareness campaigns. Template for new Cards on HIV/AIDS and Bilharzia. Ghana – malaria widespread and perennial Focus on access – distribution to pharmacies, clinics and licensed chemical sellers throughout the country. Focus on training – pharmacists trained as trainers for other healthcare workers. Card supported by Ministry of Health. Outcomes – Card printed in six local languages. Tanzania – low income groups targeted Focus on prevention – aimed to improve knowledge of prevention strategies to reduce transmission rates. Focus on early treatment – Card designed to highlight timely treatment and included medication dosage chart. Outcomes – distributed also through Care International Maternal and Child Health Clinics. Evaluation in Tanzania (1) A participatory evaluation in January 2004 consisted of: Collaborating Organisations Focus Group Pharmacists Focus Group Consumer Survey * * Final year pharmacy students assisted with the survey as part of their Health Promotion studies. Evaluation in Tanzania (2) Pharmacists Focus Group reported: Dosage chart on Cards promoted consumer confidence. Written advice on how to take medications promoted more appropriate use of medications. Card a useful tool for more rational prescribing/dispensing. Evaluation in Tanzania (3) Organisations Focus Group reported: Ministry of Health used Card to allay consumer fears during change in Treatment Guidelines. Need for wider distribution of Cards. Evaluation in Tanzania (4) Consumer survey results: Cards easy to read and understand. More than 60% of consumers surveyed reported increased knowledge of malaria prevention strategies and improved use of medication. Reduced fear of side effects from recently changed 1st line drug treatment. Opportunities for Further Research Further research could be undertaken to test the cost benefit of pharmacy initiated community based health education programs particularly in the area of preventable diseases.