Evaluation of the National Trachoma Health Promotion Programme

Indigenous Eye Health (IEH) engaged Ninti One to conduct an independent evaluation of the Trachoma Health Promotion Programme (THPP) in six remote Aboriginal communities in Central Australia.

The evaluation sought to identify community knowledge and perceptions of the THPP and what impact this knowledge had on the respondents and their actions. This information will be used by IEH and others working in trachoma health promotion to improve and develop future activities and initiatives around trachoma elimination. Aboriginal Community Researcher teams were crucial in gaining the valuable information and feedback for improvement.

Key insights from the evaluation include:

  • The level of engagement of community members with the THPP is high and was reflected in the level of recognition and responses, ideas and suggestions that community members provided.
    • 77% of people had seen Milpa
    • 75% knew that Milpa meant good hygiene/ faces/ eyes
    • 73% of people see Milpa and think of eyes/ faces
    • 86% understand what Milpa is saying
  • A key insight was that people did not appear to understand that trachoma is a transmittable disease, with many believing it is attributed to bush living conditions.
  • Although most people said there was no barrier to keeping faces clean, some referred to issues around ‘no running water’ or ‘no hot water’.
  • Aboriginal Community Researcher teams were crucial in gaining insights and practical suggestions and ideas for improving the impact of Milpa’s message, from the way information is shown on TV to the kinds of events that would make the greatest impact and the names that could be used for Milpa locally.

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