Much of the effectiveness of health programs depends on the willingness and participation of the community. Aligned with RACHA's holistic health approach, behavior change communication is crucial to reaching the community in order to educate about preventative health measures. Health messaging is vital to improving community health, and it can be difficult to effectively enact change in an already established community. Behavior change happens in slow phases and is influenced by community norms and beliefs, perceived risk, and access to health care. Under Community Health Mobilization (CHM), the Health Communication department manages all communication related to RACHA's behavior change interventions, and is essential to all focus areas. For each program activity, Health Communication develops and implements communication plans to promote behavior change and community health advocacy. The activities aim to:
- increase awareness and knowledge
- influence attitudes and dispel misinformed beliefs
- build approval and social acceptability, and
- motivate and support people to adopt and sustain healthy behaviors.
RACHA staff meets with villagers in Prey Veng Province; performing a preliminary survey to assess access to health educational materials.