Interpersonal communication activities are an important aspect of the program’s social and behavior change strategy to increase contraception use and promote the use of oral rehydration salts (ORS) and zinc for childhood diarrhea. To achieve its family planning and child health goals, the SHOPS Plus team in India engaged directly with consumers during their daily activities. From digital messages to street theater, here are a few examples of the types of activities our team used.
Riding the virtual rollercoaster
The project used a virtual reality game to educate people about managing childhood diarrhea. The game transports users on a rollercoaster ride that has intermittent messages on ORS and zinc use for treating childhood diarrhea. This innovative technology is educating users in a fun and engaging way.
"Bindaas Binita opened their eyes"
Women received family planning messaging from a fun, upbeat young woman, referred to as Bindaas Binita (cool Binita), through headphones while they relaxed at the beauty parlor. Binita shares her experience with family planning and the women listen to her story through headphones. If women had any questions following the recording, the beautician directed them to a SHOPS Plus helpline they could call to get more information on products and services.
Taking acting skills to the marketplace
SHOPS Plus used actors to perform skits in bustling marketplaces to educate passers-by on family planning and reproductive health. The skits started with a heated debate about family planning between a man and woman, which drew the attention of passers-by. At the end of the skit the couple arrived at an agreement, teaching the audience about the importance of communication in family planning decision making.
Making the pledge, I-Shapath
The project also worked with pharmacists in India to promote proper diarrhea management. As part of this initiative, pharmacists made a shapath (pledge) by displaying their photo on an ORS and zinc poster in their pharmacy.
“After exposure to I-Shapath, we now check the prescription of a child diagnosed with diarrhea for mention of ORS and zinc...," explains Pradeep Saha, owner of Arunoday Medicals in Guwahati. "My poster at the entrance of the shop keeps reminding [me] to share this information with all young parents.”
How's that? That's ORS!
Cricket is one of the most popular sports in India. Each game takes at least six hours, and test matches are played over three to five days. For that reason, SHOPS Plus used cricket matches to educate community members with diarrhea management messages. Throughout the match, the umpires and commentators added health messages to the live commentary to make matches fun and educational.