Communications Support for Health (CSH)
High-impact communications campaigns transformed awareness and prevention of health challenges in Zambian communities.
The quality of life in Zambia has improved considerably in the 50 years since its independence. But the country’s health sector still faces daunting challenges, including high levels of HIV infection, child stunting, maternal deaths, and malaria-related illness. In partnership with the Zambian government, the USAID Communications Support for Health (CSH) project used national health communication campaigns to confront these challenges. Created with an emphasis on behavior and social change, these campaigns not only raised public awareness, but also broke taboos, started conversations, and catalyzed population-level behavioral shifts. One example is Safe Love, a comprehensive HIV prevention campaign that addressed key drivers of HIV/AIDS in Zambia, including multiple and concurrent sexual partnerships, low and inconsistent condom use, and mother-to-child transmission of HIV. In response to the widespread lack of adequate logistical and financial planning during pregnancy, CSH also worked with government partners to create the easy-to-use visual Pregnancy Care Planner, a comprehensive tool providing information and reminding a woman of key steps to take each month during pregnancy to ensure a healthy term and delivery. Using pictures and simple words, the pregnancy care planner transcends literacy and language barriers.