The architecture and effect of participation: a systematic review of community participation for communicable disease control and elimination. Implications for malaria elimination. Malar J 10:225

Pacific Malaria Initiative Support Centre, Australian Centre for International and Tropical Health, School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
Malaria Journal (Impact Factor: 3.11). 08/2011; 10(1):225. DOI: 10.1186/1475-2875-10-225
Source: PubMed


Community engagement and participation has played a critical role in successful disease control and elimination campaigns in many countries. Despite this, its benefits for malaria control and elimination are yet to be fully realized. This may be due to a limited understanding of the influences on participation in developing countries as well as inadequate investment in infrastructure and resources to support sustainable community participation. This paper reports the findings of an atypical systematic review of 60 years of literature in order to arrive at a more comprehensive awareness of the constructs of participation for communicable disease control and elimination and provide guidance for the current malaria elimination campaign.
Evidence derived from quantitative research was considered both independently and collectively with qualitative research papers and case reports. All papers included in the review were systematically coded using a pre-determined qualitative coding matrix that identified influences on community participation at the individual, household, community and government/civil society levels. Colour coding was also carried out to reflect the key primary health care period in which community participation programmes originated. These processes allowed exhaustive content analysis and synthesis of data in an attempt to realize conceptual development beyond that able to be achieved by individual empirical studies or case reports.
Of the 60 papers meeting the selection criteria, only four studies attempted to determine the effect of community participation on disease transmission. Due to inherent differences in their design, interventions and outcome measures, results could not be compared. However, these studies showed statistically significant reductions in disease incidence or prevalence using various forms of community participation. The use of locally selected volunteers provided with adequate training, supervision and resources are common and important elements of the success of the interventions in these studies. In addition, qualitative synthesis of all 60 papers elucidates the complex architecture of community participation for communicable disease control and elimination which is presented herein.
The current global malaria elimination campaign calls for a health systems strengthening approach to provide an enabling environment for programmes in developing countries. In order to realize the benefits of this approach it is vital to provide adequate investment in the 'people' component of health systems and understand the multi-level factors that influence their participation. The challenges of strengthening this component of health systems are discussed, as is the importance of ensuring that current global malaria elimination efforts do not derail renewed momentum towards the comprehensive primary health care approach. It is recommended that the application of the results of this systematic review be considered for other diseases of poverty in order to harmonize efforts at building 'competent communities' for communicable disease control and optimising health system effectiveness.

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    • "Community-based health promotions refer to the communities’ participation in actions and activities that improve the health of, and reduce risks to, those communities. Community members might, for example, be encouraged to participate in more physical activities to improve their wellbeing [30,31] or to participate in notification and control of infections [32,33]. More information is needed to support the efficacy of current approaches in increasing community participation [30]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Although consumer and community engagement (CCE) in health care is receiving increasing attention, research and practice in this area are hampered by the variability of concepts and terminology commonly employed. This scoping meta-review aims to identify key CCE concepts and examine terminology used to describe them. Methods In a scoping meta-review, an extensive list of 47 phrases and 11 Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) was used to undertake a comprehensive and systematic search in PubMed Central, Embase, EBM reviews, CINAHL, APAPsycNET, and Scopus. Results 59 systematic reviews met the selection criteria and were included in the final analysis. The analysis identified nine different concepts related to CCE: shared decision making, self-management, CCE in health care systems, community-based health promotion, providing access to health care, rehabilitation, participation in research, collaboration in research design and conduct, and peer support. The identified concepts differ from each other in many aspects including the aim of the activity, the role of consumers and the type of professionals’ involvement. Each concept was described by a range of terms, with some terms shared by different concepts. In addition, two overlapping concepts of patient-centeredness and patient empowerment were recognised. Conclusions This study describes CCE-related key concepts and provides new insight into their relationship with different CCE-related terms. Identification of key CCE-related concepts and terms will be useful to focus future studies and initiatives and enhance production of CCE-related evidence.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · BMC Health Services Research
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    • "Communities affected by malaria must be supported as active participants in elimination, identifying priorities and influencing local programming approaches. It is well recognized that community involvement and ownership can be important drivers of programme success [23,47,48]. High community involvement was identified as an essential factor enabling malaria to be elimination from the island of Aneityum, Vanuatu [23]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Malaria elimination is back on the agenda, but it remains challenging for countries to make the transition from effective control to elimination. Many other infectious diseases have been targeted by globally-coordinated elimination advocacy campaigns, and advocacy has been considered an essential component of the success of other disease elimination programmes. What can the malaria community learn from these successes? A review of infectious disease elimination programmes to identify successful elements of advocacy for disease elimination was undertaken. Key elements are: (i) a global elimination plan, supported by international health bodies; (ii) thorough costings and tools to support the business case; (iii) an approach that is positioned within a development framework; (iv) core elimination advocacy messages; (v) provision of advocacy tools for partners (vi) extensive and effective community engagement; and (vii) strong partnerships. These features provide insights into 'what works' in global elimination advocacy. Advocacy is a powerful tool to support the long-term political and financial commitment necessary for malaria elimination. The global malaria community needs to work together, to ensure that the early steps towards the end goal of malaria elimination are taken.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Malaria Journal
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    • "Vertical participation implies a centralized development of research objectives by policymakers with responsibility to engage the community, whereas horizontal participation entails facilitating communities to identify and define problems from their perspective and subsequently to help tailor solutions to specific context and needs. The horizontal approach is known to engender sustainability of community-oriented programmes through self-efficacy, social identity and empowerment [6,7]. Various horizontal participatory methods are known and have been deployed differently. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Despite the significant reduction of malaria transmission in Rwanda, Ruhuha sector is still a highly endemic area for malaria. The objective of this activity was to explore and brainstorm the potential roles of various community stakeholders in malaria elimination. Methods Horizontal participatory approaches such as ‘open space’ have been deployed to explore local priorities, stimulate community contribution to project planning, and to promote local capacity to manage programmes. Two open space meetings were conducted with 62 and 82 participants in years 1 and 2, respectively. Participants included purposively selected community and local organizations’ representatives. Results Malaria was perceived as a health concern by the respondents despite the reported reduction in prevalence from 60 to 20% for cases at the local health centre. Some misconceptions of the cause of malaria and misuse of preventive strategies were noted. Poverty was deemed to be a contributing factor to malaria transmission, with suggestions that improvement of living conditions for poor families might help malaria reduction. Participants expressed willingness to contribute to malaria elimination and underscored the need for constant education, sensitization and mobilization towards malaria control in general. Active diagnosis, preventative strategies and prompt treatment of malaria cases were all mentioned by participants as ways to reduce malaria. Participants suggested that partnership of stakeholders at various levels could speed up programme activities. A community rewards system was deemed important to motivate engaged participants, i.e., community health workers and households. Establishment of malaria clubs in schools settings was also suggested as crucial to speed up community awareness and increase skills towards further malaria reduction. Conclusions This bottom-up approach was found useful in engaging the local community, enabling them to explore issues related to malaria in the area and suggest solutions for sustainable malaria elimination gains.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Malaria Journal
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