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Applicant: ‘Papardes zieds’ in cooperation with ‘Nords Porter Novelli’ Page 1 Category: Social campaign Public awareness campaign on cervical cancer Choose Life! Campaign descriptionSituation overview. Over the last ten years, the number of people diagnosed with cervical cancer (dzemdes kaklavēzis) in Latvia had increased for 20%. In Latvia In 2005, every month 18 women were diagnosed with cervicalcancer, from which 10 women died. Although doctors claim that cervical cancer is a disease that can be cured, thenumber of people diagnosed with cervical cancer and mortality rate in Latvia is 3 times higher than that in Europe.Many professional associations explain the situation by lack of national screening (prevention) programme forcervical cancer as well as weak public awareness. Majority of women do not know that cervical cancer is causedby human papilloma virus (HPV) and possibilities to avert the development of cancer by means of frequent medicalchecks analysis.Association ‘Papardes zieds’1 decided to come up with an initiative for social campaign and attracting attention tothe problem in 2006, inviting Nords Porter Novelli (NPN) to collaborate. This campaign was also supported byother NGOs and medical associations: Women’s Centre Marta, Latvian Association of Gynaecologists andParturition Specialists, Latvian Association of Oncogynaelogists, Latvian Association of General Practitioners andE. Gulbis Laboratory.Objective. The objective of Choose Life! campaign are the following: • to promote public awareness about cervical cancer, possibilities to prevent it through timely and regular checks and consultation with doctors; • to encourage women to respond, i.e. visit doctor for brief diagnostics. ResearchWhen planning the campaign in summer of 2006, a survey of general practitioners and gynaecologists wasperformed. The aim of the questionnaire was to define the level of knowledge among specialists about HPV andfind out when doctors were discussing HPV and cervical cancer issues with their patients. 93% gynaecologistsclaimed to have discussed HPV issues with their patients but only when patients had complained about symptomsand there was a suspicion of sickness. Gynaecologists also pointed out low interest of patients about HPV. Thissurvey was accompanied by focus group discussions with target group members to define their awareness ofcervical cancer and HPV and spot the main sources of healthy lifestyle and reproductive health information. Noneof sample units covered by the survey had ever heard of HPV and diseases caused by it. Majority of women takingpart in survey claimed cervical cancer to be a “result of stress and psychological trauma”. StrategyTarget group. Primary target group: women (18-55), gynaecologists, general practitioners. Secondary targetgroup: mass media and general public.Campaign target:1. To draw the attention of the general public to the high cervical cancer-caused mortality rate in Latvia.2. To deepen the understanding of cervical cancer cause, HPV, and inform of possibilities to prevent the diseaseby early medical check and analysis.3. To encourage women to visit doctor and undergo a medical check.Messages- Cervical cancer can be cured. It is necessary to visit a doctor on regular basis and undergo required medical checks! Choose life!- Cervical cancer may be prevented by timely detection.Means of communication:- mass media;- information dissemination;- dedicated web-page;- free phone line. 1 A leading family health NGO, literally - "the flower of the fern", a mythical object only "found" by young couples during Midsummer Night celebrations
Applicant: ‘Papardes zieds’ in cooperation with ‘Nords Porter Novelli’ Page 2 Category: Social campaign Communication methodology and approaches1. Media relations (Oct-Dec, 2006) Objective – draw public attention to the problem and inform specialists about the campaign. The opening press conference was attended by publicly and professionally acknowledged specialists: S. Veide, President of the Latvian Association of General Practitioners; D. Matule, President of Latvian Association of Gynaecologists; A. Rūrāne, Head of the Representation of the WHO in Latvia; M. Zvaigznīte, Oncologist of Riga East Hospital. The main message conveyed during the press event was (quote): ‘Cervical cancer is a disease that should not cause death, although each month it takes away the lives of 10 Latvian women!’ Another press conference was organised in November to announce the social campaign and encourage women attend doctors. Press conference created some spur among the mass media. All publications and TV coverages, reflecting the press conference, revolved around the intended message. Cooperation with women’s magazines continued after the press conference. These publications included interviews and gynaecologists opinions on cervical cancer and stories revealed by the doctors. Campaign consisted of more than 50 publications and TV, radio broadcasts that included coverages in main TV news programmes.2. Social media campaign. Cervical cancer awareness raising campaign extended to social campaign in mass media (November, December). This campaign included broadcast of advertising clip in Latvian and Russian. The key objective of the clip was to have emotional impact on society through key message: take care of yourself, undergo regular health checks and make your choice, choose to live! This advertisement was also shown in Forum Cinemas in Riga and Liepāja. Clip sought to encourage women to check routinely with their gynaecologists to prevent emergence of cervical cancer. Similar advertising campaign took place in printed media (mainly magazines).3. Web-page www.dzkvezis.lv. The role of the web-page was to give target groups free access to comprehensive information about cervical cancer and its prevention. Web-page address was communicated in all campaign materials, including TV and press advertisement, and information leaflets.4. Free phone line gave opportunity to ask questions about the cervical cancer to specialists.5. HPV and cervical cancer information leaflets. Objective – explain women what HPV is and what diseases it may cause. These leaflets were distributed through waiting rooms of general practitioners and gynaecologists. According to target group survey, women were keen to read this information while waiting for a doctor to receive them. Leaflets have also been distributed during various events organised by ‘Papardes zieds’.Assessment criteria: 1. Target group response, i.e. number of visits to gynaecologist and general practitioner forprevention reasons and number of cervical cancer tests; 2. Feedback from target audience seeking information oncervical cancer while visiting a doctor. Campaign results1. Increased response of target groups, i.e. more visits to doctors to undergo tests for cervical cancer. Thesurvey of gynaecologists and general practitioners after the campaign showed that the number of women visitingdoctors as part of prevention measures has significantly increased. Moreover, there is a promising trend:according to gynaecologists, the number of women who have not attended gynaecologist for a number of yearshas been reduced. 53% of general practitioners and 88% of gynaecologists stated that in the past 3 months theirpatients have been seeking information on cervical cancer compared to significantly lower numbers in the past.Another important indicator is rise in HPV tests – after the campaign number of HPV tests in E.GulbisLaboratory, a special laboratory performing HPV tests, has tripled.2. Survey of advertising campaign results shows that 27% (!) of women closely followed its recommendation to paygreater attention to cervical cancer threat.4. Number of visitors on www.dzkvezis.lv – during the campaign (November and December) the number ofunique visitors reached exceeded 6,000, which is an outstanding number for a social issue webpage.5. The final results have not been established yet, since the campaign is continuing in 2007, however, as approvedby the leading health specialists, the campaign has exceeded its expectations – it has taken the first significantsteps to fight the cancer, and the disease has been well identified both by media and target audiences.
Applicant: ‘Papardes zieds’ in cooperation with ‘Nords Porter Novelli’ Page 3Category: Social campaign