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EVALUATION OF A BOLIVIAN RADIO BROADCASTING CAMPAIGN: 'FOR STRONGER AND HEALTHIER CHILDREN'
Unformatted Document Text:  Bolivian Media Campaign: For Stronger and Healthier Children 1 I. INTRODUCITON AND BACKGROUND Mass media campaigns have been employed to change knowledge, attitudes and behaviors related to agriculture and public health issues in countries where it may be difficult to reach rural populations (Hornik, 1988). Many of these campaigns have tackled, either directly or indirectly, family planning issues (Ojeda et al, 1989; Lande, 1993; McCauley et al, 1994, Valente 1996, Kincaid, 2002) and a limited number have focused on the positive effects of breastfeeding on child health (McDivitt et al, 1993). The “For Stronger and Healthier Children” media campaign evaluation adds to the work on breastfeeding and child health by examining how a radio campaign that delivers child-feeding messages can effect knowledge, and ultimately behavior practices among women with children less than 2 years of age. The focus of this study is on measuring the impact of various information campaigns on rural breastfeeding practices in Bolivia. Nearly a third of all Bolivian children under the age of three suffer from chronic malnutrition. Sub-optimal breastfeeding practices and inappropriate complementary feeding account for high rates of infection, malnutrition, and an estimated 4,500 infant death each year. This poor nutritional situation is worsened by postponed initiation of breastfeeding, the premature introduction of liquids and other foods and infrequent feedings (AED, 2002). To improve the child feeding practices of children under the age of 24 months, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), through the LINKAGES project and the Collaborative Program for Integrated Health (PROCOSI) were prompted to develop a plan to improve breastfeeding and complementary feeding and to expand access to the Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) as a family planning option in Bolivia’s three eco-regions. The program was based on community mobilization and behavior change communications, including print materials, radio, videos for use at community gatherings, and health fairs to sensitize and inform community members on optimal infant feeding behaviors (AED, 2002). This evaluation examined the effects of the radio campaign’s third wave which was aired in regions not served by the PROCOSI/LINKAGES other initiatives. The radio campaign supplemented and reinforced training activities conducted by PROCOSI/LINKAGES and collaborating non-government organizations (NGOs) to improve breastfeeding and complementary feeding rates and to expand access to the LAM. II. EVALUATION OBJECTIVES To assess the impact of the PROCOSI/LINKAGES “For Stronger and Healthier” radio campaign, an evaluation was planned with the following objectives: • Reveal the extent to which radio spots were heard by the target audience against the desired goal of 60% for at least one campaign message on either breastfeeding, complementary feeding or Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM); • Learn about knowledge and behavior of mothers with children under 24 months with respect to breastfeeding, complementary feeding, and use of Lactational Amenorrhea Method; • Evaluate differences in knowledge and behavior between the media campaign covered PROCOSI/LINKAGES program areas and media campaign covered areas in which no other program intervention exists. Henceforth in this paper, this distinction is referred to as program versus control areas.

Authors: Maxwell, Kimberly., Borwanker, Reena. and Gonzalez Yucra, Oscar.
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Bolivian Media Campaign: For Stronger and Healthier Children
1
I.
INTRODUCITON AND BACKGROUND

Mass media campaigns have been employed to change knowledge, attitudes and behaviors related to
agriculture and public health issues in countries where it may be difficult to reach rural populations
(Hornik, 1988). Many of these campaigns have tackled, either directly or indirectly, family planning
issues (Ojeda et al, 1989; Lande, 1993; McCauley et al, 1994, Valente 1996, Kincaid, 2002) and a limited
number have focused on the positive effects of breastfeeding on child health (McDivitt et al, 1993). The
“For Stronger and Healthier Children” media campaign evaluation adds to the work on breastfeeding and
child health by examining how a radio campaign that delivers child-feeding messages can effect
knowledge, and ultimately behavior practices among women with children less than 2 years of age.

The focus of this study is on measuring the impact of various information campaigns on rural
breastfeeding practices in Bolivia. Nearly a third of all Bolivian children under the age of three suffer
from chronic malnutrition. Sub-optimal breastfeeding practices and inappropriate complementary feeding
account for high rates of infection, malnutrition, and an estimated 4,500 infant death each year. This poor
nutritional situation is worsened by postponed initiation of breastfeeding, the premature introduction of
liquids and other foods and infrequent feedings (AED, 2002).

To improve the child feeding practices of children under the age of 24 months, the U.S. Agency for
International Development (USAID), through the LINKAGES project and the Collaborative Program for
Integrated Health (PROCOSI) were prompted to develop a plan to improve breastfeeding and
complementary feeding and to expand access to the Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) as a family
planning option in Bolivia’s three eco-regions. The program was based on community mobilization and
behavior change communications, including print materials, radio, videos for use at community
gatherings, and health fairs to sensitize and inform community members on optimal infant feeding
behaviors (AED, 2002).

This evaluation examined the effects of the radio campaign’s third wave which was aired in regions not
served by the PROCOSI/LINKAGES other initiatives. The radio campaign supplemented and reinforced
training activities conducted by PROCOSI/LINKAGES and collaborating non-government organizations
(NGOs) to improve breastfeeding and complementary feeding rates and to expand access to the LAM.
II. EVALUATION
OBJECTIVES
To assess the impact of the PROCOSI/LINKAGES “For Stronger and Healthier” radio campaign, an
evaluation was planned with the following objectives:
Reveal the extent to which radio spots were heard by the target audience against the desired goal
of 60% for at least one campaign message on either breastfeeding, complementary feeding or
Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM);
Learn about knowledge and behavior of mothers with children under 24 months with respect to
breastfeeding, complementary feeding, and use of Lactational Amenorrhea Method;
Evaluate differences in knowledge and behavior between the media campaign covered
PROCOSI/LINKAGES program areas and media campaign covered areas in which no other
program intervention exists. Henceforth in this paper, this distinction is referred to as program
versus control areas.


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