PanAfricare Blog

Using radio to fight malnutrition


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As the world celebrated #WorldRadioDay on February 13th, at PanAfricare-Kenya we celebrate the contribution of radio to our work.

Radio remains the most trusted and accessible medium to African homes.  Radio’s ability to reach a wide audience means radio can shape a society’s experience of diversity, behaviors, stand as an arena for all voices to speak out, be represented, and be heard. Radio, therefore,  is an actor for development.

With over 80% access, PanAfricare’s IMPACT Program in Turkana County actively uses radio to spread information on health and agriculture. The radio programs usually have a host and guest who tackles a topic in Health or Agriculture. The shows are interactive where listeners get a chance to call in and have their questions answered.

Vernacular songs that carry messages are played on the radio several times a day. The local nature of the songs makes the transfer of information easy.

The local and community radio stations have been of great help in dispensing educational material that fosters behavior change. Community radios are usually driven by the community for the good of the community. They are not usually in pursuit of profit but operate according to a social agenda, promoting inclusive sustainable development. Such radio stations become true social service providers.

Radio is important in society and its development. It is one of the most important channels through which people in Africa find information, knowledge, and new ideas to solve problems.

"We actively use radio to carry out lessons on nutrition where we handle specific topics such as breastfeeding and diets for pregnant women. Radio is our preferred channel because most of our beneficiaries own radio and listen to it daily. The local and community radios are the most preferred because they are popular with the communities we serve." -Kassim Lupao, PanAfricare Health and Nutrition Specialist.

"I hardly miss the nutrition lessons on radio. Through the programs I have learnt alot about the food pregnant women are required to take and breastfeeding best practices. The lessons ultimately save lives as village women learnt alot about their health and that of their children." Margaret Ajikon, Turkwel ward. 

Listen to one of the radio sessions on one of the local radio stations.