The Ministry of Health contracted Allen + Clarke Policy and Regulatory Specialists Limited (Allen + Clarke) to carry out an evaluation of the 2015 Rheumatic Fever Awareness Campaign. This evaluation will help to improve the 2016 Rheumatic Fever Awareness Campaign, in support of the overarching Rheumatic Fever Prevention Programme (RFPP).
Overall the evaluation found that the campaign was efficient, effective and relevant.
- The campaign achieved excellent value for the level of investment.
- The campaign also had excellent alignment with other rheumatic fever prevention activities, and the campaign activities and timing allowed for use of the materials.
- The campaign exceeded the expected level of reach amongst target audiences, with nearly all (95 percent) of the target audience having seen/heard the campaign.The television advertisements and posters were the mechanisms with widest reach, with 90 percent of the target audience reached by these two mechanisms alone.
- The campaign supported a good understanding of the association between sore throats and rheumatic fever.For example, the telephone survey found that 82 percent of the target audience understood that ‘a sore throat can cause rheumatic fever’ and that 92 percent understood that ‘rheumatic fever can damage your heart’.
The evaluation report included four recommendations to help the Ministry inform planning for the 2016 campaign:
Recommendation 1: Modify the timing of the campaign planning to begin earlier, ensuring an efficient and effective campaign that is able to be achieved more easily with current resources.
Recommendation 2: Further build upon the current resources to advance awareness of antibiotic adherence message and strengthen this understanding among the target audience.
Recommendation 3: Design a 2016 campaign that enables community ownership of the resources and rheumatic fever message while taking advantage of the resource materials that are currently held.
Recommendation 4: Broader engagement to support local relevance of the campaign, uptake and ultimately efficient use of current resources, and to gain broader support from local communities with communicating key messages.
The Ministry has considered the recommendations and is taking the following action:
- planning for the 2016 campaign began in October 2015
- investigating ways to strengthen antibiotic adherence messages in the 2016 campaign
- planning the 2016 campaign and is exploring ways to enable greater community ownership of resources
- looking at how to best to address this last recommendation, while working closely with District Health Boards also engaged in rheumatic fever prevention. The broader Rheumatic Fever Prevention Programme also addresses this recommendation with other initiatives that include the Pacific Engagement Services, the youth ambassador programme, community event sponsorship, “Dramatic Fever” theatrical performances in secondary schools and the Pacific Community Fund.