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Use of advocacy and information materials in ethnic languages: a cultural sensitive approach in Bangladesh
R. Akhter1, N.U. Ahmed1, M.K.A. Haque1, D.F. Sultana1, M.M.S. Siddique2, D.S. Choudhury1
Issues: The Chittagong Hill Tract region, located in the southeast corner of Bangladesh has an area of 5,092 square miles and is home to 11 ethnic minorities who differ from the population in the neighboring plains not only in terms of geographical setting but also in ethnicity, socio-economic status, language, culture and religion. Chakma is the largest indigenous group, followed by Marma. Beautiful landscape and the colorful tribal life attract the tourists. Thus the people of this hilly region are more at risk of HIV/AIDS than elsewhere in the country. They continue to have misconceptions about the disease in spite of interventions on HIV/AIDS carried out by NGOs. Linguistic barrier and lack of culturally effective and acceptable advocacy materials makes it difficult for them to understand the magnitude of the problem.
Description: Save the Children through Global Fund supported project targeted to develop advocacy and information materials in three ethnic languages such as Chakma, Marma and Tripura to prevent HIV/AIDS. Through a process of involving Hill District Councils and the Tribal Cultural Institute, a Material Development Workshop was held in which the experts on the three local languages developed advocacy materials for target audience groups like community leaders and parents. The materials were field tested among the target audiences to make those culturally effective and acceptable. A total of 225000 materials in Chakma, Marma and Tripura were distributed to community leaders and parents to equip them with HIV information.
Lessons learned: Use of advocacy materials in ethnic languages has proved as effective tool to communicate with community leaders and parents with updated information on HIV and enable them to understand their own roles and responsibilities in HIV/AIDS prevention.
Next steps: The advocacy materials in ethnic languages have encouraged to plan to develop some more materials and include other major ethnic groups like Saotal.
Abstract no. WEPE0483
“R.Akhter, et al. Use of advocacy and information materials in ethnic languages: a cultural sensitive approach in Bangladesh. : : Abstract no. WEPE0483 “