Community radio promotes immunization

Radio host Ken Madzifewe likes to involve his audience when he talks about immunization.
© UNICEF Malawi/2018/Chancy Mauluka

By Chancy Mauluka, UNICEF Malawi

“I not only communicate key messages, but also ask mothers and fathers to give their views on issues which might need explanation,” said Madzifewe, who works at Nyanthepa Community Radio, which is supported by UNICEF.

“At the end of the program I ask a question, which people respond to through SMS. For example, to recap my program, I might ask why a child needs to be vaccinated.”

“In the next program, I praise those who got it right. And then I conduct interviews about challenges women face vaccinating their children.”

Maria says the radio program reminds them about what clinics tell them about immunization.
© UNICEF Malawi/2018/Chancy Mauluka

Local mother, Maria Solomon, said she couldn’t remember the last time her child was vaccinated. But after listening to Madzifewe’s radio program she made sure she never missed another appointment.

“The program is a good reminder and it adds on what we hear at the clinic,” said Solomon.

Until listening to the program, Malita Stefano, another local mother, said apart from polio, tuberculosis and measles, she didn’t know what other diseases she had to immunize her children against.

“Now I know there are vaccinations to protect my children from pneumonia and diarrhea. Madzifewe emphasized children wouldn’t be fully protected if they don’t receive all their vaccines.”

mom and child
Malita’s child receives his vaccine.”It’s not full protection if the child doesn’t receive all vaccines”, she says.
© UNICEF Malawi/2018/Chancy Mauluka 

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