Family Health Booklet
The Family Health Booklet is an easy-to-read, integrated health promotion material, which connects families to individual-level actions, community-based initiatives and clinical services. This pictorial booklet provides essential information on health to families to empower them to prevent illnesses and promote healthy behaviors. It helps families keep track of household-level behaviors (LLIN acquisition and use, hand washing with soap, etc.) and clinic-based behaviors (immunizations, HIV testing, family planning, child checkups and weigh-ins, etc.). Households refer to the booklet for information on how to prevent and treat illnesses. The booklet communicates on these topics mostly in Chichewa, though a few copies provided information in the languages of Tumbuka, Kyangonde, and Yao.
An Important Tool for Community Action
Community members involved in community mobilization activities distributed the booklets to households in their catchment areas, and then followed up with them after a time to learn how they were using the booklet. During these visits, the community mobilizers paid special attention to households with pregnant women, malnourished children and those with many or frequent pregnancies, and provided tailored counseling to those households using the Family Health Booklet as a guide.
The Family Health Booklet quickly became a trusted household reference for health. People of all ages received the booklet and expressed their appreciation for it. They enjoy the richness in its content as well as its pleasing pictorial presentation. Despite the low literacy level of most rural Malawians, the booklet proved to be an effective way of reaching households with key health messages.
Between 2014 and 2016, nearly 676,000 copies of the booklet reached families in 13 districts, reaching over three million people with health messages.