Notes to broadcasters
In Malawi, like in many African countries, youths lack good knowledge of issues related to family planning, sexual and reproductive health, and safe motherhood. These subjects are difficult to discuss and people seeking treatment for symptoms, for example of sexually transmitted diseases, may be stigmatized. Solutions include: parents talking over these issues with their children, mutual support, regular sexual and reproductive health check-ups, and early treatment. These 11 spots address these issues. Feel free to use local names in place of the names in these spots.
In these radio spots, you will learn more about a variety of issues related to sexual and reproductive health, including the following:
- Available sexual and reproductive health services
- Modern youth make important choices about sexual and reproductive health
- Seek early medical treatment for sexual and reproductive health problems
- Don’t judge people who access sexual and reproductive health services
- Get treatment for sexual and reproductive problems immediately
- Do not fear relatives or friends, get treated
- Routine check-ups for better sexual and reproductive health
- Discuss how many children you want to have
- Parents, a better source of sexual information to children
- Parent talk to your children about sex
- Message from religious leader about contraception and healthy child spacing
- How many children do you want to have
The spots vary in length from 30-60 seconds and can be played multiple times during the program and throughout the programming schedule to educate parents, young men and women, and the general public on how to deal with various sexual and reproductive health issues.
Available sexual and reproductive health services
INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC HOLD UNDER BELOW
What kind of sexual and reproductive health services are available in Malawi?
We have many services. There is medical treatment if you are sick, plus testing, counselling, and treatment of STIs, including HIV. You can get good treatment and know your status.
There are also contraceptives and family planning services, menstrual health and sexual hygiene services, and counselling about safe sex. These are all available in Malawi’s health centres and at NGOs near you.
Great. Are there any other services?
Yes, we also have counselling and support services for survivors of sexualized and gender-based violence, rape, and early and forced marriage. These are provided by community-based organizations in some villages, and also at police stations, NGOs, and health centres.
Wow, I had no idea. Thank you!
If you need help, visit your nearest health and service centre today. For more information, call the toll-free number at ___. (ADD THE APPROPRIATE TOLL-FREE NUMBER(S) IN YOUR BROADCASTING AREA)
Modern youth make important choices about sexual and reproductive health
SOUNDS OF CLASSROOM, STUDENTS TALKING AND LAUGHING IN THE BACKGROUND
YOUNG WOMAN #1:
Modern youth know their HIV status and make informed choices about sex because they want a brighter future.
YOUNG MAN #1:
A modern youth avoids unsafe sex because they want to avoid sexual complications.
YOUNG WOMAN #2:
A modern youth does not have unprotected sex because they don’t want unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, or HIV.
YOUNG MAN #2:
When someone makes unwanted sexual advances to a modern youth, even a close relative, they tell their parents to get support. They may also choose to report it to the authorities or local support services for protection and assistance.
YOUNG MAN #1:
A modern youth avoids being with sexual partners in secret places to avoid rape and unplanned sex.
YOUNG WOMAN #1:
When a modern youth is raped, they find the support services they need, get tested to avoid infections, and let the authorities know if they feel comfortable doing that.
Be a modern youth. Avoid unprotected sex, seek medical support if you notice anything unusual with your sexual health, and report rape if you want and are able to do so.
Seek early medical treatment for sexual and reproductive health problems
Do you worry that you have a sexually transmitted infection? Or signs of other sexual or reproductive health problems?
Seek professional medical help immediately. Delaying treatment because you’re afraid of being shamed for having an STI—or for any other reason—could be dangerous. The impact of STIs can be much more serious than shame. Sexually transmitted diseases can permanently damage your ability to father or mother a child.
Your sexual and reproductive health is part of your overall health, and there’s no need to be ashamed of seeing a health professional.
So make the wise decision and seek health services immediately if you think you might have a sexual or reproductive health problem.
Don’t judge people who access sexual and reproductive health services
Do you suspect that a friend or relative has a sexual or reproductive health problem? Encourage them to see a doctor.
Don’t laugh at someone because they have a problem with their sexual health and don’t judge them! Help them get quick treatment.
Laughing at and judging people who use sexual and reproductive health services only delays treatment. Applaud their courage for having the will to keep in good health.
Let’s treat each other with respect and dignity!
Get treatment for sexual and reproductive problems immediately
Gama, we are in trouble. I don’t think we protected ourselves fully.
Mary, what do you mean? I thought we used protection?
We did, but I think we had an accidental burst.
You mean the condom broke? Are you sure? Let me see … Shaa, you are right, the condom has burst. What are we going to do!? Shaa … my body is frozen with fear.
Me too. I am afraid I might get pregnant or, if one of us has a sexually transmitted infection, we may have transmitted it. What should we do??
If you are at risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection or getting pregnant because of a condom burst, or you were raped, visit a nearest health centre within 24 hours for counselling, testing, and treatment to prevent HIV and other infections.
Do not fear relatives or friends, get treated
Hospital ambience. Babies crying.
Take the capsules in the morning and afternoon. After three days, if your sexual health problem doesn’t improve, come again.
Door Opens THEN Closes quickly
Why are you coming back to my office, Kamwendo? Did you forget something?
Shaaa … My niece works close to this place and just saw me. That’s why I didn’t want to come for treatment. I know she will judge and shame me.
Uncle Kamwendo, don’t run away from me! I will not judge you or talk about your treatment to anyone. In fact, I’m glad you quickly sought medical treatment.
Knowing someone who works at or close to a sexual and reproductive health clinic should not stop you from seeking treatment. Your health and well-being is a priority. Get immediate treatment for any sexual health concerns.
Routine check-ups for better sexual and reproductive health
Did you know that, to fully enjoy and protect your sexual and reproductive health, you need to go for routine tests and check-ups just like you do for dental health, diabetes, and high blood pressure!
Routine check-ups can detect problems like prostrate cancer, cervical cancer, haemorrhaging, pregnancy, and other sexual and reproductive health issues before they get worse.
Accessing sexual and reproductive health services is not a sign of being promiscuous. In fact, taking care of one’s health requires routine check-ups.
So go for routine check-ups to prevent health complications and enjoy a long, healthy, happy life!
Discuss how many children you want to have
TRADITIONAL SONG ABOUT FAMILY PLANNING
Darling Maziko, how many children should we have when we are married?
I want to have three children. What about you?
I want three as well, and with two years spacing between each of them.
I agree with you, two years is good. They should grow up together.
Discuss family health! Make a plan together about the number of children you want to have and the number of years between each child. Choose and use an effective family planning method for good child spacing, good health, and economic stability.
Ask the experts at your local health centre for a family planning method that suits your plans.
Parents are a better source of sexual and reproductive health information for children
Parents, talk to your young children about sexual and reproductive health. Help them think critically and make informed decisions.
Don’t wait until your children learn about life, health, and contraceptives from their friends. Talk to them before they hear about these subjects elsewhere.
If parents don’t talk to their children, they may get wrong and misleading information about sexual reproductive health from other people.
Talk to your children about sex. Learning it from you will help them protect their future, and reduce the burden of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.
Help youth understand and care for their own health and bodies.
Talk to your children about sexual and reproductive health.
Parents, talk to your children about sex
Parents! If your children don’t talk about sex, it doesn’t mean that they are not having sex.
Parents and children, talk with each other about sexual and reproductive health.
Sexual encounters, pregnancies, HIV and AIDS, and sexually transmitted infections are rising among youth.
Talking to your children about delaying sex or using protection is better than being sorry you didn’t talk to them after problems have already happened.
Prevention is better than cure. Talk with your children about sex.
Message from religious leader about contraception and healthy child spacing
Delaying sex is a traditional family planning method.
But if you can’t wait, use contraceptives to space out pregnancies by at least two years. This will help maintain good family health, reduce family expenses, and help your sons and daughters have a good childhood and a good future.
If you cannot delay sex, use contraceptives to prevent health complications and poverty.
Ask the experts at your local health centre for a family planning method to suit your plans.
Contributed by: Gladson Makowa, Info-Exchange Agency/Story Workshop
Reviewed by: Miss Memory Manjawira, Nurse-Midwife and Client Contact Centre Agent, Banja La Mtsogolo, Malawi, and Idah Savala,
This resource is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada as part of the The Innovations in Health, Rights and Development, or iHEARD, project. The project is led by a consortium of: CODE, Farm Radio International, and MSI Reproductive Choices and implemented in Malawi by FAWEMA, Farm Radio Trust, Women and Children First UK and Maikhanda Trust, Girl Effect/ZATHU, Viamo and Banja La Mtsogolo.