Nuru’s Healthy Behaviors Calendar
Every time I am in a Kurian home, I enjoy looking at the plethora of calendars decorating the walls. These calendars range from English football teams to bus company advertisements to pictures of babies with hearts surrounding them. Once a calendar is hung on someone’s wall, it usually stays there until it falls apart. I’ve seen calendars that are more than 10 years old still decorating someone’s home. Now there’s a new 2012 calendar to adorn walls throughout Kuria – the Nuru healthy behaviors calendar!
A few months ago Randy Warren, Nuru’s filmmaker extraordinaire, visited Kenya. During his visit he took some amazing photographs of the healthcare field officers and their families demonstrating our key healthy behaviors. We then collaborated with a printing company in Nairobi that specializes in health behavior change communication to design a one-page wall calendar highlighting these pictures.
The healthcare team played a strong role in the design process, giving their feedback on the overall design, wording, and details – suggesting increasing the size of the Nuru logo and changing the background color. The end result is a calendar that everyone on the healthcare team is extremely proud of. The Kiswahili text, starting on the top left, translates to:
- Make sure children under 1 year old finish all immunizations.
- Heed advice given by your CHW.
- Make sure you visit the clinic at least 4 times and deliver in a safe environment.
- Wash your hands with soap.
- Visit the clinic immediately when you see danger signs.
- Drink clean water.
- Make sure you sleep under a treated net – especially pregnant mothers and children under 5 years old.
- Make sure you give your children nutritious foods, especially for children under 5 years old.
- Make sure you exclusively breastfeed your child for the first 6 months.
We started selling the calendars last week and demand is already high. Even though 2012 is still 4 months away, Nuru’s Kenyan staff and community members are already clamoring for a Nuru healthy behavior calendar. Our healthcare team meetings have been interrupted at least 7 or 8 times by Nuru staff members from other programs who have seen the calendar and want one of their own.
The healthcare team is very excited that so many people love our healthy behaviors calendar and want it hanging in their homes. Our excitement is doubled by the knowledge that this media campaign will help magnify the impact of our CHWs in helping people lead healthier lives and reducing the under-five mortality rate. The calendar hanging on their wall will serve as a constant reminder to practice these key healthy behaviors. Many other programs have proven that communications campaigns combined with interpersonal communications are extremely effective at spurring behavior change in a community. We’re hoping this calendar will be the first of many media campaigns that will validate and complement the messages that the CHWs are bringing to the community members each month. As people hear the same messages about the same healthy behaviors over and over from a variety of sources, hopefully we will change their knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors so that they are living healthier lives.