Burkina Faso has been dealing with an alarming security crisis in the north and east of the country since 2015. The country’s already fragile health system has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, teenage pregnancy has been growing in several regions of Burkina Faso at a worrying rate. Between 2015-2016, more than 1,700 pregnancies were recorded in schools. The impacts of the security and health crises are compromising girls’ access to education and sexual and reproductive health, making them vulnerable to gender-based violence, child marriage, early pregnancy, sexual abuse and rape.
Adosanté is carried out by a consortium of NGOs including Farm Radio and MSI Reproductive Choices, and two national partner organizations, namely the African Youth Network for Health and Development and the Centre for Information, Counseling and Documentation on AIDS and Tuberculosis. It is led by Helen Keller International.
Farm Radio International aimed to improve the sexual and reproductive health, nutritional status and well-being of adolescent girls and boys aged 10 to 19 in five regions of Burkina Faso through quality interactive rural radio programs. These programs aim to increase the demand for sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services among adolescents by building upon their knowledge on issues including family planning, nutrition, and sexually transmitted infections including HIV and AIDS.
The programs also target parents, husbands, community leaders, teachers and political decision-makers to raise awarness of gender inequality in the field of sexual and reproductive health through community dialogue, awarness campaigns and community listening groups.
The AdoSanté project contributed to improving the knowledge and awareness of adolescents on SRH issues, as shown by the following survey results:
- 99% of parents said they discussed sexual and reproductive health issues with their daughter compared to 53% at the initial survey
- Over 84% of adolescents said they had never discussed SRH with their father, but at the final evaluation, this dropped to 66%.
- 83% of teenagers surveyed said they would use contraception in future
- 64 mini-series were produced and broadcasted 960 times, with partner radio stations deciding to rebroadcast some episodes even after the end of the project
- 72 community listening groups established, made up of 1,389 members including 415 adolescent girls
- Duration: 3 years
- Budget: $1M USD
- Radio stations: 8
- Languages: Mooré, Dioula, Dagara, Nuni, Lobiri
Community awareness and information campaigns on the risks associated with early pregnancy and gender equality were carried out in all 13 regions of Burkina Faso.
Radio programs in five regions covered a range of topics including harmful practices (female genital mutilation, forced and early marriage), contraception, nutrition, sexual and reproductive health and rights (social and judicial protection of adolescents), gender (gender-related inequalities and sexual violence against adolescents), as well as the extent and causes of early and/or unwanted pregnancies, sexual harassment, substance abuse, and the role of parents and community leaders in addressing and managing these issues in schools, communities and at home.
Using radio dramas and discussion based episodes to deal with sensitive topics, radio stations were able to spark conversations across genders and communities.