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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 398

Developing Culturally-oriented Strategies for Communicating Women's Health Issues: A Church-based Intervention

Department of Public & Allied Health, Babcock University, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
G N Aja
Department of Public & Allied Health, Babcock University
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 21710413

Context: In developing countries, messages on maternal health are often developed and conveyed without due regard to the literacy and cultural context of communities. Culturally-acceptable approaches are, however, necessary to increase awareness on women's health issues, especially in cultures where oral tradition is important. Objective : To describe the processes adopted to engage church-based women support groups to develop innovative culturallybased strategies for communicating women's health matters. Methods : We utilized an activity-oriented workgroup discussion methodology to engage 30 participants from 15 churches (two per church) in a two-day workshop located in an urban community in southeast Nigeria. The recruitment process included initial visits to 25 churches with an expression of interest form, followed by an invitation letter to the 15 churches that completed and returned the form. Participants were female church leaders, 26 years of age and older, from different occupations and educational levels. They attended a 16-hour (two-day) small group workshop, conducted in an adult-learning format. Results: Six groups of five participants each used the Women and Health Learning Package (WHLP) to create and develop a dialogue on adolescent health, a drama on violence against women, a song on nutrition and women's health, a story on use of medicines by women, a quiz on cervical cancer and a poster on family planning. Thirteen of the 15 churches submitted a written report of the workshop to their local churches one month after the workshop as well as a copy to the workshop facilitator. Of the 13 churches, three organized a workshop to increase awareness on women's health issues in their local churches within three months of the workshop. Conclusion: Activity-oriented workshops can be a useful way of developing culturally- appropriate communication strategies for increasing awareness on women's health issues among church-based women groups.

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