MASHIRIKA Culture Apparel used to boost Health sector in Rwanda
With its capacity in Behavior and Social Change Communication approaches, Mashirika recently used Theatre in conducting a Fistula awareness and repair campaign in the southern province of Rwanda in March 2015. This was a RFHP’s Project funded by USAID through ministry of health. The campaign took place in two districts namely RUHANGO and Nyamagabe Districts and people received all necessary information on the Obstetric fistula. Radio spots and Community theatres were the main used communication channels during this campaign.
Many ways have been used to carry out health campaigns but basing on the outcomes, as Mashirika we believe that it is now the time to use culture based campaigns approaches throughout the community due to its impact as it eases understandability within the community hence giving positive results.
This campaign targeted mothers of reproductive age as well as their partners and youth between10-24 years old. Through interviews, Sector officials commented on the use of drama as the most appropriate approach. ‘’ Oh! Thank you for using the drama because anyone can understand easily’’ vice mayor social affairs Ruhango.
With the mobilization done by Mashirika, the estimated 28.000 people received messages about fistula through 10 theatre performances and many others through radio spots produced by Mashirika. Fistula was formerly thought to be linked to witchcraft by many Rwandans but now people through drama got correct information and are aware of the causes of this bad illness.
Other medias that have been used by Mashirika in Communication for Behavior and Social Change included Videos, radio drama, and print. This was another successful campaign that was carried out by Mashirika.