Mashirika uses theatre in creating awareness and increasing demand for fistula prevention and treatment services in Rwanda.
The community theatre outreaches were part of the campaign whose primary objective was creating awareness and increasing demand for fistula prevention and treatment services, and with a secondary objective of increasing the awareness and demand for family planning (FP), and antenatal care (ANC) programs in the communities of the 4 targeted districts. .
12 community theater shows were conducted followed by discussion. The turn up was good and the reception of the message delivered through a theatrical performance was good. This was checked using the Q&A (question and answer sessions) as well as discussions. “ I failed to control my self or even saying a single word because all I would have said is what was acted in the play, the stigma I was given by my relatives was exactly as was in the play” former fistula patient Gatsibo district. The estimated number of people reached during the entire campaign using theater is forty two thousand people (42000 people).
After the show people became more stimulated to ask and know much more about Fistula. , some sought to know if Fistula can be passed on from one person to another as any other communicable disease. Such questions received immediate response and the audience left well informed about Fistula.
Unofficial reports indicate that people reporting cases of Fistula and seeking treatment have increased which is a sign of success of the campaign.
Prepared by Samuel Kyagambiddwa