Increasing uptake of modern contraceptives
C-Change implemented an integrated social and behavior change communication (SBCC) program from 2009–11 to increase young men and women’s uptake of modern contraceptive methods. This program worked to counter current misconceptions about these methods and improve informed choice for modern contraceptives.
Family planning mass media campaign–2010
In April 2010, C-Change/Albania launched a second mass media campaign “ Happy Life” to increase the use of modern contraceptives in Albania and prevent unplanned pregnancies. Television spots, radio spots, print ads in major Albania newspapers and on buses and in other public areas are showcasing the benefits of modern contraceptive methods and countering misconceptions about side effects.
USAID Mission Director Joseph Williams remarked, “Voluntary family planning using safe and effective methods of contraception has profound health, economic, and social benefits for families and communities. USAID supports the Ministry of Health in its efforts to increase the use of modern contraceptives in Albania.”
The USAID Family Planning and Maternal and Neonatal Child Health program is providing information to Albanian men and women ages 18–35 about modern contraceptives. The program also works with pharmacists and physicians on how to counsel women and provide the latest information about the benefits of family planning.
Family planning mass media campaign, 2009
The first phase of the mass media campaign to promote the safety and reliability of modern contraceptive methods was launched in April 2009. It focused on men and women ages 18 to 35 and on changing beliefs and behaviors.
Messages were designed for TV, radio, print, and outdoor displays. Media spots, such as the TV clip below, were based around the tagline "Enjoy Life, Enjoy Love. Use Modern Contraceptives... For Happy Moments."
Concert at Tirana University supports efforts to increase modern contraceptive use
More than 3,000 students attended the second concert held this year in support of family planning for university students at the Tirana University campus on November 24, 2009.
Sponsored by C-Change, in cooperation with Bayer-Schering Pharma and Tirana University, the concert was an opportunity to reinforce messages of the “Happy Moments” mass media campaign and peer education intervention to increase use of modern contraceptives.
The campaign, led by C-Change, also worked to counter widespread misinformation among university students about modern contraceptives. Albania’s Minister of Education Myqerem Tafaj participated in the event, acknowledging the impact of the peer education intervention among students.
Performances included popular musicians and entertainers from throughout Albania alongside information from the host on modern contraceptive methods--including the benefits of use and normal side effects. C-Change peer educators were on hand to talk to attendees interested in family planning and distribute additional information, education, and communication (IEC) support materials on modern methods.
C-Change/Albania also developed interventions with pharmacists to improve their interpersonal skills when talking about modern contraception with young women. And C-Change trained university students as peer educators to work with fellow students to improve interpersonal skills to more easily discuss contraceptive concerns among themselves, with a partner, and with pharmacists.
The campaign is utilizing the social networking site Facebook to engage individuals on issues related to family planning and reproductive health. The campaign's Facebook page, which includes links to the mass media materials as well as an area to ask questions of one of the program's OB/GYNs has more than 850 friends and growing!
On June 2, 2009 C-Change/Albania celebrated completion of the first 6-month Peer Education program in family planning with the Festive Concert "For Happy Moments" at Student City at the University of Tirana. More than 2,000 young people participated in the event, which recognized the 12 trainers and 150 students trained as peer educators with a certification ceremony, and was followed with live music and entertainment. More than 300 branded t-shirts and hats were distributed as well as educational materials from partners and free condoms from NESMARK and OES Distrimed. The event was also sponsored by the Student Enterprise No. 1 and SHARK/PEPSI company.
The program is also working to train journalists as family planning champions by providing accurate, up-to-date information on healthy reproductive behaviors and lifestyles.