By Andrew Bishop Mkandawire

Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM) Facebook campaign for the month of December 2022 has reached 58,176 thousand people of reproductive age 15 – 49 years old with contraception information on male condom and Intrauterine Contraception Device (IUCD) also called Loop.

The social media campaign which targeted audiences from Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe has reached more 18% of female youth and 30% of male youth aged 18 – 24 years old than females and males aged 13 – 65+ years old.  The condom message scores a high reach of 41.8 thousand and loop 13.1 thousand. Loop however scored lower engagements of 5.8 thousand while condom scored 6.1 thousand engagements.

The condom cartoon video message that is circulating on FPAM Facebook page

The condom and loop video cartoons attracted reactions including comments from different audiences. Ganizani James, a member of Youth Action Movement (YAM) from FPAM Mzuzu said “I like the video. It is so informational and educational.”

Lydia Msowoya who works as Deputy Family Planning Coordinator for Kasungu district hospital seconded that “Indeed loop is a nice contraception.” Esther Phiri from Lilongwe complimented that “Loop is my life. It is the best FP method for me, and I do not stress at all.” And Mervis Nedson from Kasungu gave her testimony, “I have just accessed this contraception and I can tell you that I have not seen any problem so far.”

Some audiences complained to have difficulties in understanding Chichewa language and claimed that they missed the message content of an attractive video cartoon. Naomi Mdage from Dar es Salaam wished the message could have been in Swahili. “Which language are you talking about for us? Let there be one translator to volunteer to translate in Swahili because some of us don’t understand like me. I have not understood even one more,” she asked.

Condom video cartoon message reached more males

As of 11th January 2023, the top 6 of 50 sites reached in Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi provided fair representation of targeted sites where people reached included those from Dar es Salaam 15, 872, Lusaka Province 6,000 Lilongwe District 4,176, Blantyre District 2,888, Copperbelt Province 2,648, and Mwanza 1,016.

And the top 6 of 28 sites reached in Malawi were distributed among Lilongwe District 5,784, Blantyre District 3,404, Mzimba District 1,248, Zomba District 592, Kasungu District 428, Mangochi District 272.

The social media campaign which started on 11th December to 7th January 2023 for loop contraception and 26th December 2022 to 11th January 2023 for Condom contraception has shown that more male audiences were reached with contraception messages pegged at 59.5% as compared to women who stood at 40.3%. This is good news for FPAM where one of the influencers taken on board for the promotion of community access to family planning services is engaging men of reproductive age at both health education and service delivery levels.

Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM) has embarked on the use of digital health platforms to promote community access to sexual reproductive health comprehensive information and linkage of youth, men and women to service delivery points for integrated services. Currently FPAM is using WhatsApp Chatbot on +265(0)888307400, website chatbot and Facebook page Family Planning Association of Malawi.