The Use of Participatory Communication Model to Achieve Reproductive Health among Rural Women in Kenya

Victoria Chepkemoi Kutto


This paper sought to interrogate the possibility of rethinking development communication as far as reproductive health communication is concerned in developing countries. Health is among the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Advocacy campaigns on health matters in developing countries still lag behind in achieving the relevant goals of meeting health needs of the society. This paper used the case of women’s reproductive health and how participatory communication strategies can be used to encourage more women, especially in rural communities, to attend clinics for screening and/or treatment. This paper also takes certain factors that pose health communication challenges in achieving the goals of reproductive health in women into consideration. These factors include; body politics, culture and stigma. By achieving the goal of reproductive health in women, a society will be assured of a healthy workforce for development. Women in developing countries are the main caregivers of the family and, in many rural settings, they play a major role in economic activities. Participatory communication involves the community through all the relevant steps in attaining social behavioural change. The people are part of the planning and thus own the project. Participatory communication takes into consideration the language and culture of the community involved. This leads to creating local content and, therefore, appropriate technologies of communication will be used. Once people in a community use processes of dialogue and collective action to address their needs, the impact should propel the project forward because there will be convergence and sharing of ideas. This model of participatory communication should, consequently, contribute to the achievement of reproductive health goals among women and consequently a health society.

Keywords: Development Communication; Participatory Communication; Reproductive Health; Women; Social Change.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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