BabyWASH: Reducing childhood diarrhoea through radio and community discussion
Childhood diarrhoeal diseases are deadly – the second leading cause of death globally and a leading cause of malnutrition in children under the age of five. It is also often preventable, through access to safe drinking water, good sanitation, and the practice of good hygiene.
Our BabyWASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) project with UNICEF aims to encourage safer feeding and playing spaces for children under the age of three by targeting the hygiene habits of their mothers and fathers. For instance, washing hands with soap, keeping faces and bodies clean, wearing shoes, preparing food safely and hygienically, ensuring children play in protected areas and safely disposing of children’s faeces can all help young children to grow up healthier and more safely.
Through a five-minute radio drama series and a radio magazine-style programme, we brought critical health information to life for parents. Our local community discussion groups created safe and engaging spaces for conversations to reinforce learning about better hygiene. We also created a mobile ‘toolkit’ for health extension workers, and trained them in delivering health information more effectively, to help maintain healthier hygiene and sanitation practices in communities across the country.
Our research showed that men who listened to our radio drama knew more about handwashing with soap before and after eating and were more likely than non-listeners to say they would wash their hands with soap before eating. And in the Amhara and Oromia regions findings confirmed our work has contributed to improved knowledge of sanitation and hygiene issues, and often led to the adoption of good practice.
|Funder||UNICEF (backfunded by the EU)|
|Outputs||Radio drama series, radio magazine-style programme, community discussion groups, health extension worker toolkit and training|
|Broadcast partners||Amhara Mass Media Association (AMMA) for Amhara region, Oromia Broadcasting Network (OBN) for Oromia and South Community Radio Station- Yirgalem Recording and Broadcasting Station in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR)|
Our projects in Ethiopia
- How communication can address unsafe migration through and from EthiopiaThis new programme will focus on providing information and forums for discussion so that people can make informed decisions about what lies ahead of them.
- BabyWASH: Reducing childhood diarrhoea through radioWe encouraged healthier hygiene practices by mothers and fathers in Ethiopia to help protect children from often-deadly conditions such as diarrhoea through radio, community discussion and training with health workers.
- Using radio to address indoor air pollution in EthiopiaAir We Breathe is a health-focused project in the Oromia region of Ethiopia addressing indoor air pollution through radio and public service announcements.
- Building resilience to extreme weather through radioRadio programmes and mobile phone services are improving farmers’ access to accurate weather information in Ethiopia.
- Improving maternal and neonatal health in rural EthiopiaRadio programmes Biiftuu Jireenyaa and Jember deliver life-saving information to women and their families.
- Breaking the silence around sexual health in EthiopiaFrom 2006 to 2010, a pioneering radio programme for young people helped to encourage discussion about sexual health issues in Ethiopia by bringing taboo subjects to the fore.