Thousands of Malawians gathered at Masintha ground in Lilongwe to celebrate the launch of Moyo ndi Mpamba, Usamalireni (Life is Precious, Take Care of It), the country’s first-ever integrated health campaign.
“Taking care of your life is like protecting your business capital,” Minister of Health Catherine Gotani Hara said as she addressed the crowd on May 31. “If the capital is gone, then your business will also collapse.”
The national health communication campaign was launched in partnership with the Ministry of Health and SSDI-Communication, a USAID-funded project managed by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs (JHU∙CCP). SSDI-Communication is part of three allied projects that collectively form USAID’s Support for Service Delivery Integration (SSDI) program. The other two projects, SSDI-Services and SSDI-Systems, focus on service delivery and health systems strengthening.
Using multiple communication approaches, Moyo ndi Mpamba will link good health to a person’s ability to advocate on his/her behalf and make positive health choices. The comprehensive platform will use communication interventions across Malawi’s priority health areas, including maternal, newborn and child health, family planning, nutrition, malaria, HIV and AIDS and water, sanitation and hygiene.
Masintha ground, a historic political gathering site in the capital city, was packed with people of all ages. Green and purple balloons dotted the sky as the campaign logo was unveiled to thunderous cheers. Many observers called it the largest local gathering of any kind in recent years.
The launch event drew praise from both USAID and local health officials. Malawi USAID Mission Director R. Douglass Arbuckle called the launch a major success and asked all health partners in the field to adopt the campaign.
Hara recognized the efforts of SSDI-Communication and urged all partners to adopt the campaign slogan, jingle and logo. She also vowed to lead launch ceremonies in each of the country’s zones to ensure every Malawian recognizes the campaign.
A campaign theme song was performed by some of the country’s top musicians and the Moyo ndi Mpamba message was featured in other performances by leading cultural troupes, street theater groups and Malawi’s three most popular music bands.
Moyo ndi Mpamba reflects the true aspirations of ordinary Malawians who were consulted during an extensive formative research process designed to understand their definition of health and well-being.