Today the President of Mozambique, Armando Emilio Guebuza, and the US Ambassador, Douglas Griffiths, formally launched the radio production center and FM station at the Universidade Politécnica in Maputo. Established with technical assistance from JHU∙CCP’s PACTO project and funding from with USAID/PEPFAR, the Center for Excellence in Health Communication offers formal training in radio production, message design, scriptwriting and entertainment education.
One pillar of the PACTO project (Active Prevention and Communication for all) is to build local capacity in HIV prevention. PACTO aims to facilitate structural, normative and behavioral change to lower barriers to HIV services; increase demand for PMTCT, VMMC, Testing and Counseling among men and women; assure ART adherence and positive prevention lifestyles among PLWHA; condemn gender based violence across all media and community interventions; and promote the utilization of the GBV service continuum in Mozambique.
JHU∙CCP’s partnership with the Universidade Politécnica dates back two years and was launched to strengthen the undergraduate curriculum by including social and behavior change health communication and health journalism. Faculty are being trained in academic and practical approaches including hands on radio production. Through the radio scriptwriting course taught by a specialist from Media for Development International (MFDI), the class produced a radio drama with 15 episodes that was produced entirely in the Universidade Politécnica radio studio. Fatijas de Vida—Slices of Life—is being aired on the FM station and 14 community radio stations.