“Through community mobilization and Social Behavior Change Communication (SBCC), the experiential team has increased demand, uptake and retention of health services in our communities” Dr. Irumba Baker, the in-charge of Clinic Africa Medical Centre, Isingingiro, noted during a post-activation interview.
Currently, Sajeki Uganda is implementing the Uganda Health Marketing Group (UHMG) – Social Marketing Activity (SMA); a project in which we offer experiential services to deliver SBCC messages, generate health products awareness, create demand and garner hype and excitement for family planning and Maternal and Child Health (MCH) products and services among hard-to-reach and vulnerable communities in 30 high fertility districts in Uganda.
We have deployed multi-level intervention strategies to execute the SMA project. Our strategy includes many different layers of communication and engagement i.e. large group edutainment, communication through creative arts and drama skits, capacity building through small group dialogue, and interpersonal communication and community linkages to the health care service providers. By combining these forms of communication, we are able to meet needs of the individuals on many different levels which reduces the barriers to access health services, by bringing information and services directly to the population in need. This helps communities to make informed decisions and health choices that improve the health status of life of people in rural Uganda.
Interpersonal Communication (IPC); this communication strategy is built on the understanding that individuals are influenced by many different socio-ecological factors, and that successful health communication interventions that contribute to behavior change must include interventions at multiple levels. In the SMA project, we deploy small-group health dialogues, gender specific discussions, drama skits, and large group edutainment to address critical gaps in knowledge, risk perceptions, and norms that affect the uptake of health services among the targeted communities.