AUA SPH Holds Training in Effective Health Communication

YEREVAN, Armenia – On June 28, the Avedisian Onanian Center for Health Services Research and Development (CHSR) of the Turpanjian School of Public Health (SPH), the American University of Armenia (AUA), held a one-day training for civil society organizations (CSO) to raise awareness and build capacity on tuberculosis (TB) advocacy. Overall 25 representatives of local and international community-based and patient-based NGOs, as well as relevant professional associations participated in the TB advocacy and information communication capacity development training to raise TB awareness and reduce TB-related stigma.

The training was organized within the scope of the Institutionalization of Patient-Centered Tuberculosis Treatment in Armenia project, which supports patients and their families along the TB care pathway and helps achieve sustained treatment outcomes. The activity is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by AUA SPH, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia and the National TB Control Center (NTCC).

The training aimed to enrich the participants’ knowledge and understanding of TB and its risk factors, as well as to develop their skills for effective health communication. In the first part of the training, the participants gained information and knowledge on TB, its transmission, diagnosis, and treatment. The second part of the training focused on designing effective health communication strategies. SPH researchers were responsible for the training and made interactive presentations and also organized small workshops. Houry Mayissian, an invited communications expert, who has developed the public awareness raising campaign strategy for one of the components of the Institutionalization of Patient-Centered Tuberculosis Treatment in Armenia project joined the trainers and spoke to the participants about several health communication strategies.

The analysis of data from the pre- and post- training surveys showed that the training increased the participants’ TB related knowledge by 22%, and decreased stigma by 16%. Many participants mentioned that the knowledge and skills they had gained during the training, were very useful and relevant to their practice.

This project is made possible by the support of the American people through USAID. The contents are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

The AUA Turpanjian School of Public Health works actively to improve population health and health services in Armenia and the region through interdisciplinary education and development of public health professionals to be leaders in public health, health services research and evaluation, and health care delivery and management.