Improving Social Accountability for Nutrition and Health – communication for development (C4D) for Community based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) is guiding the implementation of these activities to achieve social behavioural change through improvements in communication and awareness; ensure individuals develop social norms that would improve care of mothers and under five children; through community engagement thereby assist reduce Moderate (MAM) and Severe Acute malnutrition (MAM cases among the under five children. Implementing Districts Health Promotion Technical Working Groups (HPTWG) in collaboration with the District Nutrition Coordinating Committee (DNCC) and its implementing partners are taking a leading role in implementation of the activities, for easy monitoring and coordination of nutrition activities within the district councils.
Implementation is through the Theatre for Development (TFD) who have been provided with designed capacity on nutrition messages to provide awareness to Women of Child Bearing Age, men and the young people on community strategies to improve maternal and Young child feeding practices. This is a unique way of engaging communities through Theatre for development activities; as the community are being entertained, through open air performance, messages of nutrition will also be provided, families will have opportunity to interact with Service providers, through questions thereby improving their decision making in nutrition and health.
As the messages will be provided to communities; using their own structures, families will have informed choices, leading to improved nutrition behaviours, early identification, referral and treatment of MAM and SAM cases, thereby supporting the reduction of MAM/SAM in our intervention areas. Through this designed program PACHI believes that families can make better decisions and choices if they are well informed; at the end they will make individual social norms which will be beneficial to their families, communities and the implementing districts.
This intervention is also engaging communities through community radios where radio jiggles/programmes on nutrition are developed to reach out to a larger audience. Alongside the other districts of Chikwawa, Blantyre, Phalombe, Zomba and Machinga; Nsanje district is one of the beneficiaries of this intervention, where this program ‘Maziko a Moyo a wa Thanzi’ has been produced and is being aired on ‘Nyanthepa Community Radio’ every Saturday at 3.00 pm.