Communities engage with health mural messaging in Zimbabwe
Public art has long been recognized as a community asset and murals in three of Zimbabwe’s provinces are igniting conversations.
Public art has long been recognized as a community asset and murals in three of Zimbabwe’s provinces are igniting conversations and helping in improving knowledge in areas of importance of routine immunisation, handwashing, integrated COVID-19 prevention behaviours, early registration of pregnancy, growth monitoring, the importance of facility delivery and family planning and prevention of STI’s.
According to residents where the imposing colourful art are strategically positioned, the murals are encouraging and mobilizing community members to attend routine appointments for immunizations and ante-natal care and other services.
Under World Bank funded the Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project, UNICEF, in collaboration with GOAL Zimbabwe embarked on an outdoor wall mural campaign promoting positive health behaviours in communities. The murals also incorporate COVID-19 messages as part of UNICEF’s integrated public health approach.
The murals are in Manicaland, Mashonaland East and Masvingo, areas that suffered the effects of Cyclone Idai with over 129,000 children were affected.
Commencing late 2020 this outdoor mural campaign is in 9 targeted districts across 3 provinces. Eight of the districts are predominantly rural targeting over 2,4 million people including about 400 000 children and 190 000 pregnant and lactating women.
Tapiwa Dzembere of Ngangu township in Chimanimani said: “These murals are very helpful for health education for men, women and children within our community. This has helped us to put health matters into perspective and live healthier lives. When you look at the drawings you know what to do and you can even see that men can also help in looking after their children through better hygiene and health choices. A healthy community is a productive community.”