Newman Street is an entertainment-education, serial TV drama that follows the life of individuals who inhabit the city streets of Nigeria. In telling their stories and depicting “life as it is,” the show shares life-saving malaria and family planning information with its audiences.
Until recently, Nigerians could only watch Newman Street by tuning into their televisions during its weekly time slots, but with continuous support and funding from the Presidents’ Malaria Initiative (PMI), the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) in Nigeria and the Center for Communication Programs Nigeria (CCPN) began screening video clips with memorable malaria-focused story storylines to Nigerians during community dialogues. This combination of mass media and interpersonal communication has generated strong reactions from community members and, in doing so, is positively influencing their perceived risk, attitudes and social support related to malaria.
During the dialogues, community mobilizers play videos of Newman Street edited to highlight one character’s story line. These clips run approximately 10-15 minutes and emphasize prompt care seeking and appropriate preventive malaria behaviors.
Community mobilizers then use the Newman Street discussion guides to elicit discussions around barriers to uptake of appropriate malaria-related behaviors, and the community’s experiences with these barriers. Conversations are guided by HC3 flipcharts that help disseminate accurate malaria information.
A total of 189 screening have taken place since July 2016 in five states to about 11,538 community residents. The following testimonials were recorded from the screenings.