Kindly consider my attached message [below] which I have prepared as a reflection concerning Q2 for the HIFA Communicating Health Research Working Group.
Thanking you in advance,
Khin Thet Wai
Member, HIFA Communicating Health Research Working Group
HIFA profile: Khin Thet Wai is a former Director at the Department of Medical Research, Myanmar. She is a medical doctor and holds the Masterâ€™s degree in Public Health from Institute of Medicine, Yangon and has a second Masterâ€™s degree conferred by the Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University, Thailand. She is a dedicated public health researcher specializing Epidemiology and Health Policy and Systems Research. https://www.hifa.org/support/members/khin-thet khinthetwaidmr AT gmail.com
Q2. What are the different approaches to communicating research (eg academic journals, policy briefs, interaction with policymakers, press releases, social media, infographics, use of video)? What is your experience with these approaches? What works and what doesn't?
Communicating medical and health related research: before and/or after?
1. Before the initiation of the research projects
Advocacy to stakeholders
This is the case that we have engaged prior to the initiation of the community-centered operational/implementation research projects to control dengue, malaria, and vaccine preventable diseases in resource constrained settings. Our strategic approach in terms of advocacy meetings through the influential stakeholder groups paves the way to transparency, trust-building, and community consent. Communicating the favorable risks and benefits ratio of intended research through advocacy makes the recruitment plan in community surveys and service provider surveys at ease.
Press release through public media
Publicity through the widely circulated daily newspapers requires for new community experiments to allay anxiety, doubts, and misperceptions. There was a good example of one special event in 2018 in commemoration of ASEAN Dengue Day held in a school compound in the provincial context of Thailand. Collaborating research teams from low and middle-income countries in Asia participated in this event to attract community attention to the release of sterile Aedes mosquitoes as an innovative pilot research project led by Mahidol Scientists.
[Source: The Nation, Volume 41; 18 June 2018, Thailand]
2. The aftermath of the research projects
We have conducted the dissemination of research results at different levels (local/subnational, national and global levels) to ensure the uptake of research results to improve the training manuals for service providers in malaria elimination and service delivery guidelines for disease control and surveillance activities of childhood vaccine preventable diseases such as measles.
For health emergencies preparedness and management, a policy brief entitled: ”Measles outbreaks among hard to reach populations as a health crisis: implications for cost-effective vaccine delivery strategies in Myanmar” has been developed and disseminated.I It was successfully presented as a poster for the wider scientific community at the Global Health Security Conference, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. Three policy recommendations were developed; (1) school entry check of vaccination status against measles and referring the unimmunized children to health facility, (2) urban immunization project, and (3) recruitment of volunteers in rural areas to improve MCV coverage in migratory population in Myanmar.
Dengue outbreaks at smaller towns and rural sites led the necessity to strengthen advocacy and coordinated movements of healthcare providers and concerned stakeholders elucidated in a peer reviewed Journal. Other scientific publications put emphasis on controlling malaria among mobile migrants, challenges in training healthcare providers for malaria elimination and controlling measles outbreaks to achieve the elimination goal through preventive vaccination.
Myint SLT, Wai KT, Oo T, Win AYN. Prevention of dengue virus infection: responses of stakeholders towards an improvement of public health advocacy program. Int J Trop Med Public Health. 2015; 5(3): 9-13. DOI: 10.5455/ijtmph/203004 (Not open access)
Win AYN, Maung TM, Wai KT, Oo T, Thi A et.al.Understanding malaria treatment-seeking preferences within the public sector amongst mobile/migrant workers in a malaria elimination scenario: a mixed-methods study. Malaria Journal. 2017 Dec.; 16:462 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12936-017-2113-4
Hein ZNM, Maung TM, Aung PP, Mon NO, Han WW, Oo T, Linn NYY,Thi A & Wai KT. Do we need to go further to train healthcare providers in the targeted regions for malaria elimination in Myanmar? A mixed-methods study. Tropical Medicine and Health. 2020; https://doi.org/10.1186/s41182-020-00196-w
Thar, A.M.C., Wai, K.T., Harries, A.D. et al. Reported measles cases, measles-related deaths and measles vaccination coverage in Myanmar from 2014 to 2018. Trop Med Health 48, 4 2020. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41182-020-0191-4