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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Role of 'Theatre for Development' in Mobilising Rural Communities for Primary Health Care: The Case of Liwonde PHC Unit in Southern Malawi
Authors:Kalipeni, Ezekiel
Kamlongera, Christopher
Periodical:Journal of Social Development in Africa (ISSN 1012-1080)
Notes:biblio. refs., ills.
Geographic terms:Malawi
Central Africa
Subjects:public health
rural areas
Development and Technology
Architecture and the Arts
Health and Nutrition
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Women's Issues
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Health, Nutrition, and Medicine
Cultural Roles
Marital Relations and Nuptiality
Law, Legal Issues, and Human Rights
Medicine, Nutrition, Public Health
Primary health care
Social participation
health education
Malawi. Liwonde Primary Health Care Unit
Abstract:This paper argues that the most important element in health care strategy is community participation. Using popular theatre - the Chancellor College Theatre for Development troupe - as a means of education and communication, the Liwonde Agricultural Development Division (ADD) Primary Health Care (PHC) Unit in the Southern Region of Malawi succeeded in motivating residents of two rural communities - Mbela and Mwima - to become actively involved in primary health care activities, such as the construction of pit latrines and improved water supplies. The impact on health has been remarkable. Data collected in the period 1985-1990 indicate that cases of death due to preventable diseases such as cholera and severe diarrhoea have fallen dramatically, especially in the under-five age group. By contrast the people of Chisi Island, who were also covered by the Liwonde ADD PHC Unit but who were not exposed to the 'theatre for development' approach, appeared uninterested in adopting a primary health care programme. Bibliogr., sum.