Introduction

In Nepal, health communication program began with the starting of promotive and preventive health services through the establishment of vector borne disease control unit in 1957. The establishment of Health Education Section in 1961 was a second step in the process of institutionalization of health communication program in Nepal. National Health Policy 1991 introduced after the restoration of democracy in the country and health system restructuring process made in 1993. In between 1961-1993 periods, various health projects had their own communication units in their projects and divisions. By making revision and improvement on separate health communication units of those vertical projects and divisions, National Health Education, Information and Communication Centre (NHEICC) was established under the Department of Health Services (DoHS) in 1993 during the restructuring process as a focal point of Ministry of Health and Population for planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of health promotion and communication programs of all health programs and services in an integrated manner.

Background and Scope

All of the districts health offices have health education, information and communication programs since 1993. There is health education and Health Institution Development Section in the Regional Health Directorates, Training and Health Information Section in the District Health/Public Health Offices. These sections implement health promotion and education and health communication activities utilizing various media and methods according to the needs of the local people in the region, district and community. Local media and languages are used in the district and community for the dissemination of health messages so that people can understand health messages clearly in their local context and language. So, NHEICC not only develop, produce and disseminate IEC/BCC materials but also plan, implement, monitor and evaluate all health promotion and education and health communication programs.

“National Health Communication Policy, 2012” has been endorsed by the cabinet, which is the milestone for health promotion, education and communication program. It is a document of high commitment and priority of government for health promotion, education and communication program in the health sector. This policy also gave a mandate to NHEICC for planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of health promotion, education and health communication program of all health services and program of all 3 departments under the ministry of health and population. Developing, producing and disseminating health messages and materials to promote and support health programs and services in an integrated manner is part of the responsibility. It, also, regulates the health messages produced and disseminated by other partner organizations and stakeholders through the media. In the same way, health promotion, education and health communication programs are supporting and cross cutting issues and programs for other public health programs and services. Advocacy, community mobilization and behavior change communication have been adopted as main strategies for planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programs of all health services and programs at different levels in an integrated approach and through one door system. So, NHEICC supports all 3 divisions to plan, implement, and monitor and evaluate all health promotion and education and health communication programs including developing, producing and disseminating IEC/BCC materials.

NHEICC Programme

The goal of the National Health Education, information and Communication program is to contribute to attaining the national health programme goals and objectives by providing support for all health services and programmes.

Program General Objective

The general objective of National Health Education, information and Communication program is to raise the health awareness of the people as a means to promote improved health status and to prevent disease through the efforts of the people themselves and through full utilization of available resources.

Specific Objectives

  • Increase awareness and knowledge of the people on health issues.
  • Promote desired behavior change on EHCS and beyond.
  • Create demand for quality EHCS among all castes and ethnic groups, and disadvantaged and hard to reach populations.
  • Advocate for required resources (human and financial) and capacity development.
  • Increase access to new information and technology on health programmes.
  • Control Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and its risk factors.

Strategies

  • Health communication programs will be implemented through health structures at centre, region, district and community levels in decentralized manner.
  • Coordination and collaboration will be made with local bodies and other stakeholders for implementing health communication programs in decentralized manner.
  • The policy of planning and implementing health related communication programs of all health service and programs in onedoor system and integrated approach will be implemented through Ministry of Health and Population, National Health Education, Information and Communication Centre.
  • Advocacy, community mobilization and behavior change communication programs will be implemented at different levels by formulating subject wise health communication strategies of health services and programs in an integrated manner.
  • Health communication programs of different health service and programs will be integrated while formulating annual programs and budget of Ministry of Health and Population and will be implemented through National Health Education, Information and Communication Centre.
  • Budget will be allocated annually according to the policy for the implementation of health communication related programs while formulating annual program and budget.
  • The bodies under UN and external development partners will be encouraged and facilitated to invest in health communication programs.
  • Certain tax will be levied on any services or commodities used by general public and on behavior or commodities that adversely affect health. Some percent of the tax will be deposited in health messages or information dissemination management fund for utilizing to implement health promotion and communication programs.
  • The practice of free distribution and use will be discouraged and managed by developing standards of health related communication messages or information, materials, equipment and services.
  • Health Communication Coordination Committee will be formed comprising stakeholders to assist in the implementation of policy and decisions taken by high level health communication direction committee.
  • Adolescents, youths, journalists, professionals, institution and various organizations will be mobilized for the promotion of healthy behavior, basic health services and programs in coordination and collaboration with different relevant ministries and institutions.
  • Modern electronic communication media such as radio, television, FM radio, website, telephone, mobile etc will also be used timely to disseminate health messages. Arrangements will be made to include health message and its link in all governmental websites.
  • Booklet, pamphlet, poster, calendar, dairy, signage, sticker, flip-chart, wall chart, flyer, flash card, flex, bulletin hoarding board will be produced, published and displayed for effective dissemination of health message or information. Also health messages or information will be published and displayed through various means and materials like outer cover page of text and practical books, package and bags of various materials and food items, tickets, postal letters, T-shirts.
  • Traditional and local folk art, culture and rituals like Maruni, Rodi, Dhan Nach, Shakewa Nach, Nautanki, Dohori Geet, Deuda, Ghatu, Dhami Jhankri, Gaine, Fine Art, Street Drama, Puppet Dance, Miking etc of powerful folk communication media and its related arts will be used timely to disseminate health related messages or information.
  • Various carnivals, festivals, days, events, exhibitions will be organized to spread health message and information effectively up to the public community.
  • Innovative ideas of art especially articles, Radio and Television program, Interaction, Drama, Film, songs with message, dance, fine art, sculpture etc will be encouraged for raising health awareness. Other sectors will also be encouraged for conducting similar types of activities.
  • Interpersonal communication program will be promoted upto the doorsteps of the people through community groups, local organizations, schools, FCHVs, students, teachers, religious leaders, media, health workers and influential persons.
  • Health message or information will be provided to mass communication media in proportionate manner.
  • Health message or information dissemination management fund will be established to disseminate health message or information.
  • Health message or information will be produced following scientific communication process.
  • Health communication technical committee will be formed to recommend health messages and materials for dissemination.
  • Health communication media, media personnel and health personnel will be encouraged through honor, award for message dissemination.
  • Necessary mechanism will be developed for encouraging public private partnership for health message dissemination.
  • Unauthorized dissemination that are adverse or harmful to health will be banned, controlled and regulated.
  • Arrangement will be made to inform about public right to health information and services
  • NCD risk factors control strategic plan will be formulated and implemented.
  • Human, physical and technical capacity will be developed on health communication.
  • Multi media and methods of health communication will be used for health message dissemination.
  • Health messages will be socially inclusive, linked to services and developed in locally understandable language.
  • Updated communication technology will be used for health message dissemination.
  • Academic institution will be mobilized for professional development in health communication.
  • High level policy directive committee will be formed for monitoring and evaluation of the health communication policies and programs.

Staff Members

  • Sunil Raj Sharma
    Director
    Mob:

  • Dr. Radhika Thapaliya
    Chief HEA
    Mob:

  • Kunj Prasad Joshi
    HEA
    Mob:

  • Sheela Shrestha
    HEA
    Mob:

  • Dr. Bhakta KC
    HEA
    Mob:

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Contacts

nheicc (@) nheicc.gov.np
+977-4254271
+977-4261387
Teku, Kathmandu, Nepal

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