Nusa Dua, INDONESIA – Nutrition International is supporting the Government of Indonesia in including adolescent girls in the conversation around anaemia prevention so that they can become drivers of change within their communities and lead healthier lives.
With funding from Global Affairs Canada, Nutrition International developed a behaviour change communication campaign, ‘‘Healthy, Beautiful, and Smart Without Anaemia’’, which aims to raise awareness among adolescent girls that anaemia may be impacting them, and encourage the consumption of weekly iron and folic acid supplementation (WIFAS) to prevent anemia and turn them into nutrition champions.
The campaign includes a whole set of branded communication materials such as an animation video (featured below), a flip chart, booklets and posters, all of which feature “cutesy” images of female students portrayed as artists, athletes, musicians and friends. These materials were developed in close collaboration with adolescent girls through formative research, consultative meetings, participatory workshops and material-pretesting and feedback from girls prior to launching the campaign.
The materials are intended to raise awareness of anaemia among girls and to guide parents, teachers and health workers on how they can help deliver WIFAS and educate girls through fun activities, games, and physical activity. The campaign highlights the benefits of WIFAS to help girls to well in school and all of their other aspirations and activities. It is being integrated within the Government’s WIFAS program through schools and government healthcare clinics in the districts of Cimahi and Purwakarta, West Java.
Nutrition International recently shared the campaign at the 2018 International Social and Behaviour Change Communication Summit in Nusa Dua, where Nutrition International’s Eriana Asri, Program Officer, Maternal Child Health and Nutrition led a presentation during the ‘’Moms Matter: Improving Maternal Health’’ panel.
‘’So far, integrating a behaviour change communication strategy into Indonesia’s WIFAS program has shown promising results,’’ said Eriana. ‘’Adolescent girls have reported that the behaviour change communication materials have helped them to understand the symptoms of anaemia, the difference between anaemia and low blood pressure, and how to consume their IFA tablets on a timely basis.’’
From January to July 2017, WIFAS coverage and adherence in the two districts has reached 80 percent and 77 percent respectively (NI, 2017) as compared to 30 percent adherence in 2016 alone in another district in the province where the strategy has yet to be introduced (Karawang DHO, 2017).
Recognizing this success, the Government of Indonesia is now scaling up Nutrition International’s behaviour change communication strategy to reach additional districts in the provinces of West Java, and new provinces of Banten, East Java and East Nusa Tenggara.