Community Drama Sends New Clients for Family Planning Services in Bauchi State, Nigeria
Contributor: Beeve Hua
The Challenge Initiative (TCI) builds the capacity of state and local government structures to implement health programming. In Nigeria, TCI built the capacity of various community structures in Bauchi State, including community theater groups. The theater groups were trained to integrate family planning messages into their local productions.
The Yanke Yanke drama group decided to develop a project with family planning messaging that would be produced in communities in different local government areas (LGAs) around the state. The communities were selected based on available data showing which ones are most in need of family planning.
So far, the Yanke Yanke drama group with TCI coaching and financial assistance has produced and staged its family planning drama in the Tirwun and Bayan Fada communities in the Bauchi LGA of Bauchi State.
“In our productions, we make sure we raise an issue that is a myth or misconception, then address such rumor, and we express the importance of family planning and where to get the services, all in the drama,” said Danladi Adamu, CEO of the Yanke Yanke Group. “The end is we want women to go to the facility and pick up services.”
The Clinic Manager of the primary health center in Tirwun, Aisha Aliyu, said the production led to an increase in clients.
“We had a sensitization at Tirwun community on family planning using community theater in September, and between that September to December, there was huge increase in the flow of clients to the facility because of the sensitization,” she said, noting that many of the clients mentioned the production when asked how they were referred. “The drama was really a good initiative because everyone loves drama in this area.”
The chart below shows the increase in new family planning acceptors in the two communities.
The community theater productions have been such a success that other communities are offering to pay the drama groups to come to their communities. Rahinatu, a native of the Tilde Fulani community who also works with the Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Care Development Agency, said he witnessed the effectiveness of using community theater for sensitization.
“These community drama were existing but we did not know they are very effective in community sensitization until TCI opened our eyes,” he said. “I attended one of the events and it was very educational. The message is received through drama presentation by communities better than long paper speeches, then I decided to use it and sensitize people in my community. I planned and funded the whole sensitization myself because I know how important the information is to my community.”