In January 2013, the Ministry of Health announced an outbreak of suspected Dengue in the Seychelles. A national rapid response team was set up with a Sub-Committee mandated to develop a Communication for Behavioural Impact (COMBI) Plan to support health promotion interventions being carried out. A rapid assessment of knowledge, awareness and perceptions of dengue amongst the at-risk population was one of the main activities integrated as part of the Plan. This was important as there was a need to highlight any gaps in knowledge as to the cause, transmission, and risk reduction steps needed to interrupt a potential epidemic. Structured questionnaires were administered in two selected districts. The results of the survey provided concrete evidence that despite high knowledge amongst community members, there was a need to strengthen community-based interventions and to empower community members to be the leading force and take ownership of the interventions. The assessment guided the interventions of the COMBI Plan, particularly in defining the key messages to be used, development of targeted IEC materials, and implementation of community-based interventions.
[SOURCE: This field note was contributed by: Health Promotion Officer in Seychelles.]