When COVID-19 lockdown measures were put in place in Mozambique due to COVID-19, it led to great challenges, among them people’s difficult access to health facilities where they would receive sexual reproductive health (SRH) services and related information.
To continue meeting the needs of its clients, IPPF’s Member Association in the country, Associação Moçambicana para Desenvolvimento da Família (AMODEFA) changed strategy and began using mass media more intensively to reach the masses with much-needed information on COVID-19 and SRHR.
Radio proved to be a powerful medium with a wider reach covering both urban and rural populations in Mozambique. With many broadcasts produced in local languages, radio particularly appeals to huge masses, including the illiterate populations in rural areas.
AMODEFA has partnered with local radio stations (including community radio stations) such as FORCUM (Forum of Community Radios), Radio Mozambique, Radio Cidade, Radio Indico-89.5, Voice Coop - FM 101.7 and Radio Maxaquene. AMODEFA is involved in the production of interactive programmes that addressed SRH needs in the context of COVID-19.
For the successful production of the programmes, AMODEFA undertakes continuous training of the radio producers and presenters on different issues surrounding sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR). This helps them better package the broadcasts. AMODEFA also avails experts who are interviewed during the shows. These range from doctors, nurses, gender and human rights activists, community health workers and HIV/AIDS counselors.
Before an AMODEFA-produced show airs, promos are done days in advance. These are done through radio announcements to inform listeners about the intended broadcasts and help them prepare for the show.
The programmes are aired either early in the morning or in the afternoon and are very interactive in nature. They allow for question and answer sessions, which increases participant engagement. Most of the questions from listeners surround about where and how to access family planning and other SRH services from AMODEFA and other health facilities during the pandemic, especially with movement restrictions.
While the cost of producing and broadcasting the programmes is high, AMODEFA relies on partnerships, good will and the memorandum of understanding they signed with the stations.