A Study on Diabetes Communication Strategy in Ethiopia: The Case of Ethiopian Diabetes Association

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Addis Ababa University


The purpose of the study was to study effectiveness of the communication strategy of the Ethiopian Diabetes Association (EDA) in combating diabetes. The study was conducted among members of the Ethiopian Diabetes Association, health professionals working at the Federal Ministry of Health and other government and private health institutions. To achieve the objectives, the study employed both qualitative and quantitative approaches, which includes individual interview, questionnaire, observation and document analys is. Therefore, the communication strategy employed by the Ethiopian Diabetes Association has not been effective because of various reasons. These include, among others, lack of skilled human power and financial constraints. The findings of the study showed that use of mass media, informal education session, mainstreaming with formal education system and interpersonal communication methods are the most commonly used and accepted in the study to communicate diabetes messages. As applied in other sectors of health such as HIV IAIDS, the outcome of the study illustrated that those occasions as coffee ceremonies, Idir, Mahiber, Debo and other relevant meetings are to be the major indigenous gatherings and ways of information exchange particularly in rural areas. However, the society and members of EDA did not exploit the venues for the purpose of exchanging diabetes messages extensively. The results showed the need for improved and target oriented information and education materials as well as disseminated programs on diabetes through mass media including broadcast and print media. Although association leaders, active members, decisio n makers, religious leaders living with it, and health professionals working in the area are credible sources of information, they are not targeted to address diabetes message properly. In general, designing sound communi cation strategies for the prevention and control of chronic NCDs in general and diabetes in particular has to be important to constitute the shared commitment and consensus among the government, partners and stakeholders on the strategic directions to prevent and control the main chronic diseases and their risk factors . The proposed strategies developed by the Federal Ministry of Health should provide the framework for partners and stakeholders towards a common goal. Besides, addressing environmental, psychological and structural problems is found to be equally important.



Diabetes Communication, Strategy in Ethiopia, Diabetes Association