Medicus Mundi and MISA train members of the Maputo Municipal Commission on Social Determinants of Health in Communication for Social and Behavioral Change

The members of the Municipal Commission for Social Determinants of Health of the city of Maputo participated, between the 3rd and 4th of August 2022, in two training sessions on “Communication for Social and Behavior Change” and “Social Determinants of Health”. Saúde”, which took place in room 107 of the TDM, in Maputo.

These two courses arise from the need to train the members of the Municipal Commission for Social Determinants of Health (CDSS) in the different communication strategies, in the foundations and levels of the social determinants of health (DSS), in order to ensure that they know how to develop strategies and influence public policies to reduce health inequalities in the country, and how to communicate them to educate and train the population.

The first training was given by Dr. Franscisco Nguenha, member of MISA-Mozambique, who stressed that “communication has an enormous capacity to act as an instrument of social and behavioral change.” But for that to happen, “it becomes important to know the ideology of the recipient audience, because it helps to define the approach to be used.”

Continuing, he mentioned that “the communication strategy that a particular organization is going to use must be able to influence the target audience.” And, he added, “this is only possible if there is an advance study of that target audience.”

For Nguenha, the training had the objective and managed to transmit to the members of the Commission a minimum knowledge about communication, the means of communication and the strategic ways that we can use to promote behavior change, in order to facilitate the mobilization of the masses, starting from of the study of semiology.

The second day of the training was given by three facilitators, namely Dr. Patrícia Ramgi, from the National Institute of Health, Prof. Dr Mohsin Sidat, professor at Eduardo Mondlane University, and Dr. Ivalda Maciane, also a collaborator at the National Institute of Health.

for Dr. Patrícia Ramgi, from the National Institute of Health and a member of the CDSS, “in order for the members of the Commission to fight for policies favorable to the social determinants of health, it is important that they know how to develop research to understand the reality and adapt these policies to the needs of the communities.”

In the same vein, Prof. Doctor Mohsin Sidat, stated that “policies created by governments often do not take into account the differences between the population.” In this way, according to the professor, “one part of the population benefits at the expense of another.” He also added that “policies must be developed considering the different social and economic structures so that, in this way, they can be socially just, since they are also social determinants of health.”

Prof. Dr Mohsin Sidat finally took the opportunity to congratulate all the members of the Municipal Commission on Social Determinants of Health for the initiative to create it, as it allows for an intersectoral approach that will open space to discuss ideas with different perspectives and, in this way, help in promoting the health of the population in Maputo.

In her intervention, Dr. Ivalda Maciane, stressed that the economic, political and social context of a given society will somehow influence its health, so these factors are configured as social determinants of health.

Policarpo Ribeiro, Public Health Technician at medicusmundi, stressed that the presentations show the importance of the Commission and called for the commitment of each of the members to make its creation worthwhile.

It is recalled that the Commission on Social Determinants of Health is a multisectoral platform that brings together members of the Organic Units of the Municipal Council of the city of Maputo, health services, teaching and research institutions, civil society and cooperation partners, created by the Maputo Municipal Council, with the technical support of medicusmundi, whose objective is to contribute to the improvement of equity and quality of life for the citizens of the city of Maputo, through the promotion of public policies sensitive to the social determinants of health, such as main strategy to guarantee the population's right to health. This initiative is developed within the scope of the project "The Social Determinants of Health: the best strategy against COVID-19 in Maputo", funded by the Ajuntament de Barcelona.