PRIME’s Nutritional Interventions in Southern Cluster are Winning Government Buy-in
Improving the nutritional status of families is one of the goals of the Pastoralist Areas Resilience improvement through Market Expansion (PRIME) project. The project works to achieve this goal through a behavior change communications (BCC); edutainment is one of the BCC components the project draws on. Informed with research, PRIME works with local entertainment groups and clubs to hold dramas, street shows and other entertaining activities to reach rural communities with nutritional messages that encourage community members to change their behaviors on equitable household decision making, 1000-day-care, fodder production, animal health, and dietary diversity. Local governments are now recognizing the impact such activities are making on rural communities.
PRIME in Southern Cluster, in partnership with local theatre band, has been promoting healthier behaviors for rural pastoralist communities during market days through shows. The shows included dramas, question_and_answer sessions and feedback sessions. In its recent promotional effort, PRIME reached 1250 community members in Yabello and Dire woredas with the key message of 1000-day-care. The promotions were conducted in places where community members gathered for business transactions. Through these promotional activities, community members realized that nutritional interventions between the first day of a women’s pregnancy and the second birthday of her child are critical in determining the future well-being of children. Participants of the events admitted that they had no idea of the importance of the 1000 days and promised to put this into practice.
These promotional activities have been recognized by local governments. Dire woreda health office nutrition officer Abdi Hasen, who attended one of the recent events, thanked PRIME for complementing government efforts on nutrition. “Through health extension workers we have been providing nutrition education for woreda’s communities,” says Abdi. “However,” he continued to say, “ health extension workers have not been disseminating messages for all community members but this approach will enable us to disseminate message for large communities”.
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