Positioning Early Care to Curb Congenital Syphilis

Prenatal Care: Maximizing Early Detection Impact

Amid a growing congenital syphilis crisis, a condition both preventable and deeply concerning, we find a glimmer of hope – early prenatal care. Yet, this beacon is too often hidden, especially for underserved audiences. Alarmingly, one in four expectant mothers don't get prenatal care until the second trimester, or worse, not at all. Meaning we miss a critical chance to catch syphilis early in pregnancy. Here at KW2, we're more than a marketing agency; we're advocates for public health, committed to shining a light on the path to early intervention and comprehensive care. That's why we put together these six essential communication strategies to share, aimed at reshaping public health stories and spurring action against congenital syphilis.

1. Bridging Early Prenatal Care Gaps 

It's a hard truth that too many expectant mothers delay or skip prenatal care until it's almost too late, risking serious outcomes. Early care is more than a check-up. It's a safety net that ensures timely screening and intervention. We need to stress the importance of early prenatal care loud and clear. By sharing real-life success stories alongside educational material, we can show the life-changing impact of early screenings and holistic care, resulting in overall better health and well-being. This message must resonate everywhere – online, in community centers, and in healthcare waiting rooms – to reach pregnant people and repeat: early care is essential.

2. Highlighting and Tackling Access Barriers 

To truly understand the hurdles to prenatal care, we've got to walk a mile in their shoes. Stigma, fear, and systemic barriers like restrictive reproductive rights policies often keep expectant mothers away. Nearly 40% of women reported not realizing they were pregnant early on, not being able to get to their appointment when they needed one, or being blocked by financial or insurance issues. Spotting these barriers is our chance to craft campaigns and messages to overcome these hurdles, using available resources to guide mothers to quality prenatal and postnatal care.

3. Leveraging Medicaid's Expanded Reach 

Medicaid's broader services offer a wealth of support waiting to be tapped into. It's not just about covering costs – but smashing access barriers. Lately, Medicaid expansions are paving the way for transportation, financial aid, childcare, and postnatal support. With syphilis rates nearly six times higher among women insured through Medicaid our initiatives must showcase how Medicaid can support access these supports. By making Medicaid benefits simpler to navigate with straightforward content and guided forms, we can lead more mothers to the support they deserve.

4. Embracing Partners in the Journey 

Partners have a huge role in supporting expectant mothers. A key strategy here is to open up a dialogue about the ways a support network can have an impact. We need to focus on messaging that changes perceptions and encourages active involvement in prenatal care. Workshops, resources, and real stories of partners' impactful roles can drive home the message: You're not just a spectator. You're a vital player.

5. Education Through Influence

Syphilis isn't a thing of the past; it's a current threat. But it's also treatable and preventable. Having our communities lead the narrative with solid facts, using engaging, easy-to-understand content that highlights the importance of screening and the reality of treatment options. Social media, partnerships with influencers, and educational videos can be our channels to bring this truth to a broader audience. Shifting the message carriers from healthcare providers to the community is crucial to building and maintaining trust.

6. Empowering Through Digital Outreach

Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS), healthcare providers, and community clinics are at the forefront of education and awareness on health issues. But they can't do it alone. We must look at a cross-disciplinary approach to reach, inform, and inspire behavior change within our community. By pinpointing expectant mothers through digital purchase behaviors and interest targeting, we can craft content that reaches them at a larger scale and earlier in their pregnancy, pushing them towards early screening and care. This combined digital effort takes some weight off the DIS teams and healthcare providers, boosting their reach and impact, and avoiding missed chances for detection, treatment, and care.

As a marketing agency with four decades of behavior change expertise, we are agents of change facing the most complex public health challenges. We believe in the power of early prenatal care as the key to detecting, screening, and stopping the spread of congenital syphilis. With strategic, empathetic communication, we can alter the trajectory of this public health crisis, turning fear and uncertainty into hope and action. To dive deeper into our approach and see how we can support your public health initiatives, reach out to Josh Skowron at [email protected].

Together, let's rewrite the story and make syphilis a thing of the past.