Malawi: Behavior-Centered ProgrammingSM for Health and Nutrition

Save the Children/Malawi's SHN program in Mangochi District serves more than 200 primary schools and approximately 190,000 students. A wide range of health problems affects children's enrollment, attendance and performance in school. The program addresses schistosomiasis treatment and prevention, malaria treatment and prevention, micronutrient supplementation, HIV/AIDS prevention and hygiene and sanitation.

The Manoff Group provided ongoing technical assistance in Behavior-Centered Programming to improve the coverage of existing schistosomiasis and malaria treatment and developed comprehensive behavior-centered communication (BCC) activities for schistosomiasis, malaria, HIV/AIDS and diarrheal disease prevention. Each activity built on what had been learned during the previous activity. Formative research with students, parents, teachers and community leaders identified feasible practices to address the health problem and effective ways to promote these new practices. Media and materials were developed including:
  • Radio spots on community health and hygiene
  • Pictorial letters to parents to inform and invite parents to participate in deworming activities for their children
  • Painted signs at point of contact with rivers and lakes to remind children to avoid urination in the water
  • Interactive audio-cassettes for teachers to use in classrooms on each topic
  • Take-home booklets for students to reinforce learning
  • Cool Parent Guides to help parents dialogue with their children about HIV/AIDS prevention early and often.
Each piece was developed with the students based on their needs and skills.