It is expected that health educators and policymakers partner on malaria campaigns. But community radio disc jockeys? They don’t usually share a seat at the table.
The hands-on production workshop was led by CCP’s NetWorks project, in collaboration with Senegal’s National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) in Dakar. It brought together over 20 health educators, technicians and radio disc jockeys from the districts of Kaolack and Kaffrine.
The goals of the workshop were to familiarize radio disc jockeys, Ministry of Health education staff and NGO partners with Senegal’s national universal coverage strategy; develop and pretest ten radio spots in Wolof and French on LLIN universal coverage including good net use and care; develop and adopt a musical theme for the “Trois Toutes” slogan (Read “Three “Toutes” for Malaria Prevention” to learn more about the campaign.); and, develop a plan to produce the same series of spots in Bambara, Malinke, Peuhl and Madingue for broadcasting by community radio stations throughout the southern parts of the country where the mass distribution of LLINs has been completed and high usage rates must be maintained.
Workshop participants learned how to use radio to promote ideal behaviors to reach public health goals, particularly those related to improved net use, care and repair. They examined radio formats including writing techniques, and applied new skills to the recording, pre-testing and final production of radio messages.
The workshop resulted in the development of ten spots in both French and Wolof. Following the workshop, using newly acquired skills, the spots were translated and recorded in four more languages at community radio stations in Tambacounda, Kedougou, Kolda and Sedhiou. The spots in Wolof and Peuhl were broadcast extensively during the recent rollout of the mass distributions in Kaolack and Kaffrine and were very well-received by communities in those regions.
Monitoring and evaluation of the reach of radio messages will be facilitated by Peace Corps Volunteers in collaboration with regional and district health education staff from the Ministry of Health. A large-scale household survey to be launched in May/June. This survey will help NetWorks and the NMCP better understand the effectiveness of the radio spots and other Universal Coverage communication efforts, and will allow for continued improvements with future work with local radio and mass media for the promotion of improved LLIN use throughout the country.
Clearly, radio disc jockeys can play an important role in a malaria campaign, especially as they are able to engage large segments of the population and reach them using popular languages.
Listen to a Radio spot in French.
Listen to a radio spot in Wolof.
Learn more about the NetWorks Project.