An integrated communication campaign on child nutrition in the Djibasso area, Burkina Faso

Severe malnutrition continues to plague the Djibasso region. OCADES (the Burkinabe Caritas) and Kindermissionswerk (KMW) maintain their efforts to combine activities and resources towards improving living conditions of mothers and children in the northwest of the Diocese of Nouna, close to Mali. However, supplying food will not have any lasting effect. Behavioural changes in health, nutrition and child nourishment, the introduction of agriculture technology, and small-scale entrepreneurship are the way forward. To this end, OCADES-Nouna, with support from KMW, envisage an incorporated communication campaign on the causes and consequences of malnutrition, promoting improved antenatal monitoring and newborn care, better cooking methods, adequate child nutrition and cultivation of products to complement the typical diet, with the aim to improve the health of under-fives.

In March 2013, CAMECO facilitated a workshop in Nouna to discuss and plan a campaign on Behaviour Change Communication. Throughout 2013 and the beginning of 2014, intensive exchange and discussion took place between OCADES-Nouna, KMW and CAMECO. Unfortunately, no agreement was reached, due to the local partner’s difficulty in determining a well-defined objective and indicators – basically because the extent of the problem was undocumented and a starting point could not be defined. To avoid the whole process grinding to a halt, KMW agreed to finance a baseline survey. This preparatory step was conducted during the second quarter of 2014, with collection of data on the actual degree of malnutrition, and health status of mothers and children in the Djibasso area. An audience survey of communication usage and methods within the target population was incorporated. Based on the results of this baseline survey, OCADES-Nouna drafted a three-year pilot programme focused on significant reduction of malnutrition in the area, thanks to better use of health services and introduction of new ways to feed children.

CAMECO’s contribution to the project was varied and included visits and working sessions with OCADES-Nouna in Burkina Faso, distant exchange via email during all steps of the process, perusal of and advice on the various drafts of the programme and the baseline survey. To date, a new draft of the three-year programme for submission to KMW has been forwarded for analysis and advice, towards completion of a final version for the funding request.  (ph)