C-Change has been working with agencies of the Government of Kenya and local and international NGOs to strengthen and improve social and behavior change communication (SBCC) for family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH), malaria prevention and control, and to promote voluntary medical male circumcision for HIV prevention. Partnerships built are helping to promote healthy spacing of births; prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT); and encourage pregnant women to use mosquito nets, seek prenatal care, and follow-up with postnatal care after giving birth.
See below for more information:
C-Change supported the Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) program of the Government of Kenya and provided technical support to the National VMMC Taskforce and regional communication sub-committees to create demand for VMMC.
Working with local partners, C-Change developed the first phase of the Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision Communication Toolkit, comprising innovative communication materials, tools, and guiding documents on male circumcision that emphasize safe healing and the importance of continued HIV-prevention practices.
Materials in the toolkit include billboards and posters; a video and radio spots; flip charts for health providers; fact sheets for community, faith and business leaders; dialogue cards;and a handbook for community mobilizers. The materials can be accessed and downloaded on C-Hub. C-Change continues to develop materials for VMMC communication that include tools for coalition building, media outreach, advocacy with policymakers, monitoring and evaluation, and materials for circumcising communities. Current materialsare being adapted to four additional areas in Kenya, including Teso, Kibera, Turkana, and Coast. C-Change has also developed an adaptation guide for material development to facilitate scale-up of materials adaptation and strengthen capacity.
Background—MC communication activities
An alliance of trained and equipped clinical teams circumcised over 25,000 men in western Kenya in November–December 2009. The Government of Kenya aims to circumcise 60 percent of men in Nyanza Province by 2014. Achieving this goal would avert an estimated 47,000 HIV infections through 2025. Kenya made this commitment after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that countries should incorporate MC into national HIV prevention strategies.
Critical to the medical circumcision program is the National VMMC Taskforce of international, government, NGO, and local organizations that are working together. As part of this taskforce, C-Change developed a wide range of communication messages and materials that promote safe healing and follow-up for clients after circumcision and the importance of continued HIV testing.
Also essential is communication that emphasizes that while VMMC reduces risk for men, it does not prevent HIV. Messages underline the importance of continued condom use to ensure there is no added vulnerability for women. These messages are important for newly circumcised clients and for others in the community. They reinforce the fact that MC is an important part of preventing HIV, but must be combined with other behaviors to be effective.
With USAID support, C-Change developed the Kenya Reproductive Health Communication Strategy Implementation Guide, in collaboration with the Government of Kenya's Division of Reproductive Health, other stakeholders, and partners. Thematic areas given priority are family planning; adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health; and maternal, neonatal, and child health. The guide assists implementers to roll out the communication strategy at national, regional, and district levels and ensure RH programs are supported by coordinated social and behavior change communication (SBCC).
C-Change supported government efforts to develop a national behavior change communication strategy for FP/RH and to develop implementation guidelines for USAID partners and local NGOs. C-Change also helped to strengthen the SBCC capacity of the Ministry of Health's Division of Reproductive Health through a series of trainings.
C-Change also assisted the launch of the mass media campaign “Plan for Yourself a Good Life.” The campaign targeted peri-urban and rural men and women ages 25–35 in areas of the country where contraceptive prevalence is lowest. Materials for radio, print, and billboards in Kiswahili and local languages promote informed choice on use of modern contraceptives and child spacing. They are available on C-Hub. Read more
C-Change provided technical support to three NGOs—Merlin, PATH, and World Vision—to assist them with programming to promote healthy behaviors to prevent the spread of malaria in 12 endemic- and epidemic-prone districts in Western and Nyanza Provinces. The work of these NGOs was closely aligned with prevention and treatment strategies and corresponding objectives of the Kenyan National BCC Malaria Strategy and the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) program, which funded these activities through USAID.
The NGOs used community mobilization, interpersonal communication, and local radio to disseminate key malaria prevention messages. They implemented integrated community-level SBCC malaria activities that promote increased use of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs), prompt diagnosis and treatment of fever, and demand for intermittent preventive treatment among pregnant women.
The organizations built the capacity of local community health workers and community health volunteers to be behaviour-change agents at community and household levels. One community health worker serves 20 households (about 100 people) and is responsible for communicating malaria messages, mobilizing their communities, and promoting the use of health services, including malaria services.
In mid-2009, C-Change assessed the SBCC capacity of the three NGOs using the C-Change SBCC Capacity Assessment Tool. In November–December, C-Change followed up these assessments with training, using the C-Modules. C-Change also provided technical assistance to these NGOs on the development of their SBCC strategies.
With support from PEPFAR, C-Change provided technical assistance to MTV Networks International and MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation on a mass media campaign for young people on HIVprevention information on HIV.
This effort includes the MTV premiere ofShuga, a three-part, fast-moving drama that focuses on the lives of several young adults and university students as they confront the realities of love, jobs, and their families.
Filmed in Nairobi, the series addresses sexual networks, multiple concurrent partnerships, substance abuse, and living with HIV, in the context of cultural norms. Shuga has an online component, which featured interviews with cast members who discuss issues addressed in the drama, a Q&A section with additional information, and blogs where youth discuss issues and comment on a question of the week.
Radio programming mirrors the TV drama. C-Change provided training for local broadcasters to strengthen capacity to produce local programming and contributed to a training of trainers and educational toolkit for youth organizations carrying out peer education.