95% of the Indian population lives in malaria endemic areas, with 1.5 million new cases occurring every year and 80% of the cases occur among 20% of the population that live in tribal, hilly, and hard-to-reach areas (NVBDCP, 2017). Godrej Consumer Products has partnered with the government of Madhya Pradesh and Family Health India (FH India), on a project for the Elimination of Mosquito-Borne Endemic Diseases (EMBED), employing a cross-sectoral approach, strategically focused and piloted in Madhya Pradesh, targeting these vulnerable population groups living in remote geographies.
The project design and its implementation hinged on the shared responsibility and unique skill sets of all partners involved, and the need to fill in the gaps on information for and education of the community through behaviour change communication (BCC). Godrej required a robust needs assessment to determine the correct and most effective intervention to affect change; the government machinery ensured adequate diagnostics, human resources, and reach; FH India, along with local NGO partners, ensured trained BCC facilitators to improve the knowledge, attitudes and practices of community members; and the local health providers played a pivotal role in outreach and engagement of community members, as well as providing timely access to health services. It was found that from 2015 to 2017, there was a reduction in API and malaria cases, an increase in the risk perception of malaria, the availability and use of bed nets, and access to health services.