The various types of problems and challenges have been faced in effective implementation of health promotion, education and health communication programs. Access and utilization of essential health services to mass people particularly people living in remote village, disadvantaged, poor and marginalized population have been deprived due to not having adequate access of health promotion and communication program and services.
Many organizations are found to develop, produce and disseminate health messages or information and materials without the coordination, collaboration and consent of NHEICC/MoHP. As a result, unauthorized dissemination and duplication health messages and materials have been rampant, quality, accuracy, reliability, uniformity and appropriateness in health messages or information, materials and programs are not maintained by different health related institutions.
Considering the health communication challenges adopted in the national health communication policy 2012, Government of Nepal endorsed “National Health Communication Policy, 2012” which is a milestone for health promotion, education and communication program under MoHP/GoN. It gives high priority of government to health promotion, education and communication program in the health sector.
The main goal of national health communication policy is to sustain healthy lifestyle of mass citizens by promoting health services, programs and healthy behavior; by preventing and controlling disease and by increasing accessibility and utilization of health services.
The objectives of the National Health Communication policy are to:
- Mobilize and use modern and traditional communication multimedia and methods in an extensive and proportionate manner to raise health awareness, knowledge and promote healthy behavior of mass citizens.
- Strengthen, expand and implement health communication programs at central, region, district and community level through clear and strengthened cooperation, coordination and collaboration among individual, community, relevant organizations and communication media.
- Generate, collect and mobilize sufficient resources for the effective implementation of health communication programs at central, region, district and community level.
- Prevent unauthorized dissemination and duplication of health related messages or information and materials of different issues by maintaining quality, correctness, authorized, uniformity and appropriateness,
- Enhance capacity on health communication in order to develop, produce and disseminate quality, correct, authorized, uniform and appropriate messages or information, materials and programs.
- Provide quality health messages or information through appropriate media and method to the citizens, who have no access to health message or information.
- Implement health communication programs in decentralized manner.
- Provide continuity to working in planning and implementation of communication programs of all health services and programs in an integrated approach and through one door system.
- Allocate at least 2 percent budget annually of the total annual budget of Ministry of Health and Population annually for managing adequate financial resource to implement health communication related programs.
- Promote participation, coordination and cooperation of relevant organizations and stakeholders for effective implementation of health communication programs.
- Use extensively modern and traditional multimedia especially mass, interpersonal and social communication media and methods based on the appropriateness to disseminate health messages or information.
- Make arrangement for the dissemination of health message or information based on need, approved standard and classification through all communication media and methods to intended audiences by direct negotiated agreement in transparent and proportionate manner.
- Disseminate health messages or information in an educative, artistic and entertaining manner in local language and in culturally appropriate manner.
Prevent dissemination of health messages or information without taking pre-consent from Government of Nepal by making necessary arrangement for maintaining quality, correctness, authorized, uniformity and appropriateness, avoiding duplication and making policy based of health messages or information.
- Make arrangement to encourage communication media, institutions, health workers, journalist or health issue centered communication media, which have made significant contribution in disseminating health messages or information.
- Encourage and facilitate dissemination of health messages or information or materials through different communication media and methods in public private partnerships under the corporate social responsibility.
- Regulate, control and ban dissemination of any types of messages or information that can be adversely affected human health, exaggerated, misled nature and unauthorized.
- Make transparent and informed by disseminating health services, programs, proper use of medicines and medicine and service charges provided to people by governmental, non-governmental and private organizations.
- Make arrangement to obtain health message or information or materials easily by physically and mentally disabled person and senior citizens.
- Give priority to issues related to control lifestyle related diseases and encourage improving daily lifestyle of human from simple behavior of individual.
- Ensure good governance and management of health services and institutions of all level for effective planning and implementation of health communication programs by building capacity of health promotion and communication.
- Provide quality health messages or information to mass citizens particularly people living in remote village with no access and geographically, ethnicity and gender wise disadvantaged, poor and marginalized population in an appropriate time and from appropriate media and methods.
- Link health messages or information and programs with services and these health messages or information will be socially inclusive, gender friendly and right, fact and audience based.
- Promote and use advanced modern communication technology for dissemination of health messages or information.
- Emphasize quality health promotion and communication by developing and producing manpower related to health promotion and communication.
- Develop and use monitoring and evaluation mechanism for the overall use of message and materials and the effectiveness of the programs related with health communication.