Online ISSN: 2515-8260

Author : Awan Ismail, Norsiah Abdul Hamid, Anne Anjao Eboi

New Media Strategies’ Model for Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights Campaigns among Young People in Informal Settlements: Mitigating the Challenges

Anne Anjao Eboi Awan Ismail, Norsiah Abdul Hamid

European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine, 2020, Volume 7, Issue 6, Pages 1455-1473

Routine data by the Ministry of Health (MOH) from prenatal visits by schoolgirls in June 2020 uncovered 4,000 pregnancies from only one county (Machakos). This data covered the March-June 2020 period when schools closed due to Covid-19. The current study is motivated by the perspective that media managers should play a fundamental role in disseminating sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) messages among the youth. Current circumstances justify an exploration into the possibility and acceptability of developing a new media strategies’ model instead of using conventional media strategies to disseminate SRHR campaign messages. Kenya has developed a vibrant policy space to protect young people’s SRHR. Specifically, the Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (2015) policy extensively covers reproductive issues including advocating for the use of digital means to reach adolescents. Several studies have chided Kenya for great policies which fall short at the implementation stage. There is a dearth of studies that examine the interplay between media managers, new media strategies, and policy to help build a new model of communication to address SRHR issues. Using qualitative in-depth interviews of 11 informants and a thematic analysis, results indicate that even though media managers wield immense influential power, they have relegated SRHR issues to the back desk. All the 7 media managers have not read any policy on SRHR; thus, cannot implement what they do not know. The new media strategies identified that can work in Kenya include key messaging; school-web-based solutions; combination strategy; new media-geographic-based strategy; digital billboards; and a sustained solo strategy. All the 11 informants agreed that it is possible and acceptable to use new media strategies for SRHR campaigns. The study recommends that media managers must develop interest in SRHR policy to own the process and play a part in message dissemination