TV Drama Reinforces Positive Malaria Care-Seeking Behaviors in Focused Community Dialogues

Screening of Newman Street during a community dialogue in Ashina community, Aliede Gwer East LGA, Benue State.

Screening of Newman Street during a community dialogue in Ashina community, Aliede Gwer East LGA, Benue State.

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.

  • Testimonial 1

    In Tungar Magaji (Koko LGA, Kebbi state), a family head said the Newman Street video made him uncomfortable because it revealed the dangers of his wife not attending antenatal care (ANC). Her pregnancy was long overdue for delivery but he had never allowed her go for ANC despite the fact that she is constantly in pain.” After attending the community dialogue, he exclaimed, “I am no longer comfortable because she is long overdue and she is going through a lot.” After the dialogue, an HC3 community volunteer followed the man to his house and referred his wife to the primary health facility, where she later delivered a healthy baby boy. The husband’s profound appreciation was clear when he said, “I really want to thank this organization for coming to our aid, the video that was shown to us is really good, my wife is now ok and the baby; although she went through a lot but I thank Almighty Allah for everything.”

  • Testimonial 2

    In Atim ( Mbaverakaa-Gboko LGA, Benue state), Mrs. Ngolumun Iorgema said she and her family members usually went to a herbalist or chemist when they thought they had malaria, but after the community dialogue and Newman Street clips, she learned valuable information about the dangers of not going to the hospital, especially since malaria can progress and become serious. In her words, she said “this movie ‘Tsaav story‘ has opened my eyes to where I should go to when I have malaria. I will now take myself and my family to the hospital when malaria symptoms arise.”

  • Testimonial 3

    A village head in Sariki Walli, (Nasarawa State) said after a screening session that: “Our plan in this community is for everyone to start sleeping inside mosquito nets…the video did not say what killed Andy but one can understand that it is malaria…”


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Help stop spam. * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.