Health Communication Component, Pakistan – Soap Operas and Films

This page provides a series of soap operas and films produced as part of the Pakistan Health Communication Component project, 2014-2018.

Included are:

  • Mujhay Jeenay Dou – A 22 episode drama serial “Mujhay Jeenay Dou” co produced by Center with Angelic Films is on the multiple social ills of our society primarily focusing on the issue of child marriage. It’s a story of Saira and her challenging life journey from an eight-year-old child to an adult in an environment dominated by taboos and social barriers.
  • Sammi – full-length film based on the art and strategy of entertainment-education highlighting the issues of women empowerment, maternal health, son preference, girls’ education and patriarchy existing in our society.
  • Angoori – 14 episode TV program addressing the vast unmet need for family planning in Pakistan
  • Bol – produced under the PAIMAN project in Pakistan, and aimed at policy makers, the film is about gender equity, family planning and maternal health
  • Paiman – 13-episode drama series originally aired on Pakistan Television (PTV-Home) in 2008 under the USAID-funded Pakistan Initiative for Mothers and Newborns. Each episode of the drama series is based on real-life issues of mothers and newborns in Pakistan derived from primary research

Source: USAID, Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs

Date of Publication: July 15, 2021


The first season of this TV drama series comprises 26 episodes that examine how that which remains unsaid in love, relationships, and sex may place us at greatest risk of HIV infection. In the first season each of the episodes built on different characters forming a romantic or sexual link in a chain binding all South Africans. It focused on love, loss, heartbreak, joy, friendship, hatred, honesty and deceit. Believable characters acted out situations anyone could relate to, with each episode teasing you with what might come next.

The series was extensively supported through weekly discussions on 10 SABC radio stations, public relations to promote the show, a blog featuring weekly updates on the show, and social networking through Facebook and Twitter. Surveys were conducted by the Centre for AIDS Development, Research and Evaluation (CADRE), involving a post-broadcast, qualitative audience evaluation conducted in six provinces between April and June 2011. Results found that the viewers found the stories believable and relatable, and that the shows prompted discussions among viewers.

The show is the product of a collaborative partnership between SABC 1, SABC Education and Johns Hopkins Health and Education in SA (JHHESA). JHHESA interviewed over 2,000 people in 39 communities to understand their stories and their perceptions on current issues. It combined that research with a national communication survey of 10,000 people and fed the results to the Intersexions creative team.The show won 11 South African Television and Film Awards, a Peabody Award, and an Africomnet Best Mass Media Award 2012.

Source: Johns Hopkins Health and Education South Africa

Date of Publication: May 26, 2021

Callaloo Radio Drama

Callaloo is a locally-written and produced serial drama that depicts characters facing troubling changes and decisions relating to pressing issues of personal health and the health of their surrounding environment; issues that individuals living throughout the Caribbean are facing in their everyday lives.

This serial radio drama component of a PCI Media Impact’s larger My Island—My Community communications program.

As a strategic Communications for Behavior Change program, this program uses Callaloo as well as radio call-in shows and community mobilization campaigns to build knowledge, shift attitudes and change behaviors of their audience members around critical issues the Caribbean is facing. The three target issues discusses are:

  • Increasing resilience to climate change in coastal communities by promoting natural solutions
  • Conserving biodiversity by improving solid waste management practices
  • Reducing HIV infection rates (particularly among youths) while increasing good practices relating to sexual and reproductive health

Source: Population Communication International

Date of Publication: November 30, 2020

AIDS Resource Center, Ethiopia

From 2001-2007, USAID via PEPFAR (through CDC) funded the Ethioopian HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office to establish and run an AIDS Resource Center (ARC). Its objectives included:

  1. Provide up-to-date and accurate information on HIV/AIDS, STIs, and TB related issues
  2. Serve as a hub for a host of user-driven resources and services
  3. Support local partners in developing strategic, targeted behavior change communication (BCC) tools and approaches
  4. Establish and maintain National HIV/AIDS Talkline – ‘Wegen 952’
  5. Establish regional ARCs (R-ARCs)
  6. Build capacity of HAPCO and MOH

SBC activities included

  • HIV/AIDS hotline
  • Radio diary series, Betegna
  • Using the MARCH (Modeling and Reinforcement to Combat HIV) model for behavior change to prevent HIV among the defense forces and the police

Source: Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs

Date of Publication: October 7, 2020

Hulu Beteina Mobile App – Instructional Leaflet

This mobile application is developed to support rural women and couples to better manage and track their health, mainly during pregnancy, through delivery and after birth. Designed for use on both smart and basic phones, the approach invokes a simple, easy to navigate format containing relevant, engaging, and educational content. Key features of the app include growth-monitoring tool, scheduling for ANC and immunization visit. It is available in three languages (Amharic, Afan Oromo and Tigrigna) and no internet connection required to transfer or use the application.

This is an instructional leaflet on how to use the app as well as how to share it

Source: Communication for Health Ethiopia

Date of Publication: February 10, 2020

Health Communication Message Guide

This guide serves as a reference for health communication interventions, by providing a set of core messages that are accurate and consistent. It enable practitioners to communicate standardized messages to communities and audiences.

Different guides are available for different health areas including Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH); Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH); Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD); Malaria and TB. The Federal Ministry of Health and Regional Health Bureaus have endorsed the guides.

Source: Communication for Health Ethiopia

Date of Publication: February 6, 2020

Newman Street TV Series

Newman Street is a serial drama that tells stories of fame, love, acceptance and how far people will go to obtain all three.

Messages about malaria and family planning are woven into the plot to demonstrate how these particular challenges can be addressed in realistic, believable scenarios. Season One was aired nationally on the AIT channel and on 17 state level TV stations in 2014. Season Two was launched on World Malaria Day 2015.

Source: Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs

Date of Publication: March 25, 2019

RESEAUX TV Series [Cote d’Ivoire]

This is an episodic drama series that addresses the current HIV situation and challenges in an entertaining way for Cote d’Ivoire. The series shows how the country’s fast pace toward recovery, modernity and success brings a new HIV challenge as a recent study shows that more adults, especially those over 40 years old, are the most affected by HIV. The series also demonstrates that current communication between husbands and wives is failing, and the series then goes on to explore why this is and how improved communication is beneficial as far as promoting safe behaviors and reducing HIV new infections.

The series explores the idea that a person’s wealth, level of success, age, or sexual orientation do not matter when it comes to risk. Rather, what matters is how a person’s behavior today will affect his/her entire future because behind each incidence of unprotected sex lies a suite of consequences, including HIV/AIDS infection.

The first season includes six episodes, with an average length of 21 minutes each:

  • Episode 1: Jean Yves seems to have everything that could make a man happy: a good job, a loving wife and children, longtime friends, and projects. In his search for pleasure, will Jean Yves put the stability of his family and his marriage at risk?Will Sara be able to deal with her husband’s infidelity and protect her health?
  • Episode 2: Nina, Jean Yves, Anita, Sara, Cyril, Francois all belong to one voluntary sexual network, or are connected to it.Which of them is HIV positive and doesn’t know it and is involuntarily passing HIV on to his or her sexual partners?
  • Episode 3: Will François overcome his fear of HIV, get tested, and support Bintou, who is HIV positive?Will François allow his prejudices against people living with HIV to get the upper hand and cause him to break up with Bintou? Left alone by her husband, will Sara succumb to Jean-Paul’s advances to get even with her husband for his infidelity?
  • Episode 4: Sex – a springboard to social success or a means of transmitting HIV for all and a cause of divorce for married couples? What are the values of Ivorian society?
  • Episode 5: Will François’ decision to get tested for HIV arouse in Jean Yves greater awareness of the risks he is taking with his many sexual partners?What impact will François’ test result have on his relationship with Bintou and with his group of friends?
  • Episode 6: François is HIV negative, which makes Jean Yves feel better about his risky sexual behavior.What will be the consequences for Jean Yves of his willfully risky sexual behavior?What will finally make things click for Jean Yves so that he saves his marriage and protects himself from HIV?Is there any future for Francois and Bintou?

Source: Johns Hopkisn University Center for Communicaiton Programs

Date of Publication: March 25, 2019

Shuga Radio Series

These radio programs supported and enhanced the Shuga TV series throughout the campaign, using the same objectives and BCC messages as the TV drama. In the original series, developed in Kenya, the 12 episodes were followed by two 25-minute pre-recorded magazine shows which further explored the topics covered with young people, experts from the countries and global and national cooperating partners. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) contributed to expanding the reach of MTV Shuga through radio broadcasting.

Radio project funding, beginning in season 3, was from UNICEF and the US President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Partnership for an HIV-Free Generation, with country governments, partners, and young people collaborating.

Source: MTV Staying Alive Foundation

Date of Publication: March 25, 2019