After Ebola, Promoting New ‘Gold Star’ Brand to Increase Use of Health Services

The Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) team in Guinea is working with the communities hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak to rebuild both trust in the health system and the quality of care received. HC3’s approach incorporates evidence-based Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC), capacity-building and quality-improvement interventions.

In collaboration with Jhpiego and the Ministry of Health, HC3 is revamping a quality brand—entitled “Etoile d’Or,” or Gold Star—that will be promoted nationally and regionally through a mass-media campaign that includes radio, television, billboards and community events. The campaign aims to build confidence in as well as increase the use of health services. 

Since 2012, Jhpiego has identified and assisted health facilities to meet quality criteria for service through a months-long accreditation process. Once accredited, a health facility receives a “gold star,” which is prominently displayed both inside and outside the facility. Currently, 15 facilities across the country have already received a gold star and another 22 are undergoing the accreditation process. Unfortunately, few people within these communities or health facilities understand the significance of the gold star label. That’s where HC3 comes in.

The first step in developing the new brand was to create an updated logo and campaign slogan that embody the values that community members think are most important when considering whether or not to use their local health services. These characteristics include: a health worker’s warm welcome, confidence, empathy, availability, respect and confidentiality as well as health facility cleanliness. The new logo is a gold star with a photo of two smiling male and female Guinean nurses inside, along with the slogan, “High quality services, your health is guaranteed!”

Once the logo and slogan are validated by all partners, new health facility signs, billboards, posters, and radio and television spots will be produced and distributed to promote the brand at the national and regional levels. Each community that already has a Gold Star facility will celebrate the campaign by unveiling the new logo at a community-wide launch party featuring speeches, theater and music.

By promoting the brand nationally, HC3 hopes to inspire non-Gold Star facilities to strive to achieve the same high-quality standards that Guineans desire and deserve. The Gold Star Quality Services promotion will encourage people to return to the life-saving health-care services that they stopped using during the time of Ebola.

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Hannah Mills | Program Officer | Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs

Hannah Mills is a Program Officer supporting quality improvement and reproductive, maternal and child health programs in Francophone Africa. Her interests also include how to better integrate information and communication technology into social and behavior change communication programming. Prior to joining the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, Hannah served as a preventive health volunteer with the Peace Corps in Senegal. She holds an MPH in Global Health from Boston University.

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