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Promoting Public Health through Behavior Change Communications Campaigns in Zambia

To improve health outcomes in Zambia, the Communications Support for Health project strengthened the capacity of the Zambian government and civil society partners to implement effective communications activities.
Through the USAID Communications Support for Health project, Chemonics assisted the government of Zambia in addressing health-related issues such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, maternal/child health, and family planning/reproductive health through effective health communications activities. 
The project worked with three primary counterparts: the Ministry of Health’s Health Promotion Unit, the National HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Council and the National Malaria Control Center. The project strengthened the capacities of these organizations to design, implement, and evaluate national health communication campaigns, with an emphasis on behavior and social change campaigns. 
One example is Safe Love, a comprehensive HIV prevention campaign. The campaign, implemented by the National HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Council with project support, addressed key drivers of HIV/AIDS in Zambia, including multiple and concurrent sexual partnerships, low and inconsistent condom use, and mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
In response to the widespread lack of adequate logistical and financial planning during pregnancy, CSH worked with government partners to create the easy-to-use visual Pregnancy Care Planner, a comprehensive tool providing information and reminding a woman of key steps to take each month during pregnancy to ensure a healthy term and delivery. Using pictures and simple words, the pregnancy care planner transcends literacy and language barriers.
Project Results:
  • Empowered 528 government and civil-society staff members as well as 32 national and subnational institutions with the tools and knowledge necessary to use effective communications to enact changes in population-level health trends across the nation.
  • Created a 14-percentage-point increase in condom acquisition in past 6 months, a 10-percentage-point increase in correct and consistent condom use, a 19-percentage-point increase in condom negotiation, an 18-percentage-point increase in discussions with friends about MCPs increasing the risk of HIV transmission, a 21-percentage-point increase in intention to get circumcised in the next 6 months, and a 23-percentage-point increase in encouraging friends and family to go for circumcision.
  • Engaged 350 chiefs and headmen through its Change Champion approach within the Mothers Alive campaign. These selected traditional and local political leaders were trained in CSH’s behavior-centered communications approach through intensive weeklong workshops held in their district capitals.
Project Links:
Project duration: 2010 - 2014

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