Health Communication

Health communication encompasses information, education, and communication (IEC) and behavior change communication (BCC) efforts involve working with individuals, communities, and societies to develop context-appropriate, multilevel communication strategies to promote healthful behaviors such as the practice of dual protection. IEC and BCC channels include the mass media; interpersonal communication, such as provider-client or peer-to-peer counseling; and community-based channels, such as household outreach, street theater, or local radio. Provision of a supportive environment that will enable people to access integrated services and sustain safer behaviors is essential to the success of any health communication effort. 

According to the INFO Project’s Population Report, “Communication for Better Health,” effective health communication programs can:

  • Increase awareness and knowledge of a health problem and its solution
  • Demonstrate or depict healthy behavior
  • Improve skills and sense of self-efficacy
  • Reinforce healthy knowledge, attitudes, and behavior
  • Show the benefits of adopting healthy behavior
  • Help shift social norms to encourage more healthy behavior
  • Advocate a position on a health issue or policy
  • Increase demand or support for health services
  • Refute myths and correct misunderstanding
  • Change perceptions of risk
  • Prompt individual and community behavior change