Support for Service Delivery Integration (SSDI)-Communication was a five-year social and behavior change communication project designed to teach families in Malawi how to advocate for their own health, practice healthy behaviors and engage with a responsive health care system. SSDI-Communication concentrated on reducing maternal, infant, and under five mortality rates; family planning; malaria; HIV/AIDS; nutrition; and water sanitation and hygiene.
SSDI-Communication coordinated its activities under the umbrella platform of Moyo ndi Mpamba, Usamalireni! (Life is Precious! Take Care of It). It included a campaign, launched in 2012, that promoted small, doable steps to improve quality of life in maternal and child health, nutrition, family planning, malaria and water sanitation and hygiene. This innovative platform, which was informed by research on people’s aspirations for a good and healthy life, allowed the project to address multiple needs for health information and services at different stages of life.
Under the program:
- The Moyo ndi Mpamba brand became very popular and was widely recognized across the country. The SSDI Endline Survey, carried out in 19 districts, found that 89 percent of men and 78 percent of women had heard of Moyo ndi Mpamba
- Both the endline survey and USAID’s commissioned SSDI Activity Performance evaluation noted that exposure to campaign activities was positively and significantly associated with positive knowledge, attitudes, social norms and health practices. During the endline survey, significant changes were found among those exposed to the Moyo ndi Mpamba campaign in the areas of water and sanitation hygiene, malaria, fertility preferences, contraception use, maternal and child health, HIV and AIDS, sexual behavior, and gender norms. For example, those exposed to the campaign were significantly more likely to wash their hands with both soap and water, use modern contraceptives, attend prenatal care visits, get tested for HIV, not have concurrent sexual partners and jointly make decisions with their spouses.
- “Music 4 Life” music festivals took place around the country, bringing awareness to SSDI’s focus health areas through song.
- Family health booklets with easy-to-understand messages and doable actions to promote family health created. Tens of thousands of booklets were distributed with the goal to have one booklet in every home in all SSDI focus districts.
Even though SSDI has ended, the Moyo ndi Mpamba, Usamalireni! was recently adopted by the Ministry of Health as the umbrella platform for its new National Health Communication Strategy for 2015-2020.