Using Radio to Reach Caregivers More Frequently with Tips on Nurturing and Feeding Young Children

A health worker explains the growth curve of the child to a mother during an outreach service visit.
A health worker explains the growth curve of the child to a mother during an outreach service visit.

In support of Ghana Health Service’s and SPRING’s major commitment to expand training and community support for improved infant and young child care and feeding across northern Ghana, SPRING adapted parts of a popular radio serial from Zambia to the realities of Northern Ghana.  The Shrubs of Today Become Tomorrow’s Forest is a 6-part radio serial with 15 minute episodes that follow Suhuyini, a young male reporter, as he accompanies Madame Abiba, a retired nurse, in her visits with caregivers and families to help them protect, nourish, and nurture pregnant women and children under two years. The episodes, done in a lively dialogue format, support breastfeeding, complementary feeding, and hygiene practices that can have a positive impact on child health. They also encourage the engagement of all household members, particularly fathers and older children, in many of the suggested practices. The radio series has been translated into five local languages and is currently broadcast on eight stations. It has also been put on memory cards and is played at mother-to-mother support group sessions as a way to spark discussion.

SPRING's The Shrubs of Today Become Tomorrow’s Forest for Northern Ghana is adapted from radios series developed by The Manoff Group: The Bushes that Grow Are the Future Forest, a series of 13 radio episodes on infant and young child feeding developed in 2011 for USAID’s Infant and Young Child Nutrition Program and “The Bushes that Grow” a modified and expanded series of radio shows developed in 2014 under USAID’s Communication Support for Health Project (CSH) for Zambia’s First 1,000 Most Critical Days Program of the Ministry of Health and National Food and Nutrition Commission.