Amplio impact:

Health

IMPROVING HEALTH OUTCOMES IN KENYA

CBCC, Amplio’s partner in Kenya, is using Talking Books to support community health volunteers (CHVs) and strengthen social and behavior change outcomes for the Afya Timiza Project, a five-year initiative funded by USAID. The project promotes Family Planning and Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health (FP/RMNCAH), as well as Nutrition and WASH services throughout Samburu and Turkana counties in northern Kenya.

CBCC uses a range of communication for development (C4D) tools and strategies, including print, radio, and TV. They say Talking Books — called “DigiSomo” in Swahili — bridges the knowledge gap in rural communities. The device speaks to people in their local language and does not require grid electricity. It uses the same batteries that people use for their torches and radios.

Teo Mukunid, an ICT specialist for CBCC, says the introduction of Talking Books has given CHVs more confidence, status, and authority in the field.

“Previously these communities had no confidence in the community health volunteers or the messages they provided,” he says. “Now that CHVs are using Talking Books to share accurate, standardized information and they have concrete facts at their fingertips, everyone’s confidence has grown. People are referring to the CHV as the village doctor.”

CBCC is charged with implementing SBCC strategies in 25 sub-counties. They currently use Talking Books in seven counties, and they’ve seen an impact. At Archer’s Health Post, there’s been a 40 percent increase in skilled deliveries and 100 percent increase in antenatal (prenatal) visits per month. Based on the positive results, CBCC hopes to extend Talking Books to other counties.

PARTNERS

USAID and Centre for Behavior Change and Communication (CBCC)

Project

 Afya Timiza

Location

Samburu County and Turkana County, Kenya

REACH

31,154 households in 7 sub-counties

POSTCARD FROM THE FIELD

A CHV (in back row) said he was responsible for six pregnant women, but gained four more from outside of his designated area because of the Talking Book. Referrals are easier, because his clients communicate with him now and tell him when they go to hospital.

Joel Olewe, CBCC’s monitoring and evaluations officer, was keen to document the stories.
ICT specialist Teobald Mukunid collects the usage logs from the Talking Books and loads a new deployment of content.

CBCC’s M&E officer Joel Olewe introduces a monitoring tool for new content.

A CHV from Kisima shares updates about a “binti shujaa,” a teen mother under the age of 17 who she supports.

A CHV discusses the pros and cons of Talking Books. Battery consumption is the biggest issues. The Talking Book V2 will work with rechargeable batteries.

A CHV talks about a stubborn pregnant woman who finally agreed to deliver in the hospital, although she didn’t get any iron and folic acid supplement (IFAS).

Teo deploys messages for CBCC’s “Ushujaa” campaign. Traditionally, shujaas (heroes) fight to defend their communities from outside threats. The CBCC campaign urges community members to be alert, proactive, and decisive in neutralizing threats to maternal and child health.

A CHV in Namorputh, in Turkana County, demonstrates how to record feedback.

A CHV training session in Lorugum Loima Sub-County in Turkana.

CHVs get training on how to record user feedback on the Talking Book.

A CHV in Namorputh, Turkana demonstrates how to record feedback.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS

Users record feedback about the information they receive on the Talking Book using the built-in microphone. This feedback provides invaluable insights into the impact that Talking Book messages have in the community.
“Men are not supportive in this community for us the pregnant women to go for antenatal care. There are instances wives will beg transportation money from their husbands but they will refuse to give us.”

If I am below 18 years and have nobody to take care of me in school, does that mean that I cannot drop out from school and marry.”

We are told an under six-months-old baby should not have any other food beside breastmilk. Why do some babies still get diarrhea upon being given only breast milk?”

CONTACT

Amplio Network is a US-based nonprofit organization that uses its Talking Book audio device to help global partners amplify and widen their impact. Our technology makes it possible to share knowledge and transform lives for people with low literacy skills in the world's hardest to reach communities.

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