Society for Family Health (SFH) Rwanda is a national non-governmental organization (NGO) operating in Rwanda, established in 2012 with funding support from USAID Rwanda. The desire to establish SFH Rwanda as an independent network member, with PSI/Rwanda as its origin, was embedded in a philosophy that the national organization would ensure sustainability and ownership of health interventions.
SFH’s major interventions are centered on promotion of behavior change practices and social marketing of health products and services related to HIV/AIDS; malaria control and prevention; family planning; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); maternal and child health (MCH); and nutrition.
The organization is driven by the commitment to use evidence-based approaches to meet the needs of the most vulnerable. The organization disseminates the relevant behavior change messages, gathers and analyzes information and develops innovative strategies for messaging to the targeted audiences.
SFH engages communities and district leaders through media, interpersonal communications sessions (IPCs), meetings, sketch and drama sessions, special events, roadshows and concerts, mobile video units (MVUs), community dialogues and more.
PSI/Rwanda estimates that in 2015, its products and services helped avert 200,493 DALYs, including, by health area:
- 8,375 Malaria DALYs
- 162,920 HIV DALYs
- 28,759 FP DALYs
- 439 WASH DALYs
PSI/Rwanda’s family planning programs also provided 108,335 couple-years of protection.
SFH promotes socially marketed condom products including Plaisir, Protect and Prudence, and offers HIV counseling and testing (HCT), alongside behavior change communication to prevent the spread of HIV. SFH Rwanda collaborates with district leaders and community-based organizations (CBOs), and also conducts referrals activities for voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC).
SFH Rwanda, working in partnership with the Ministry of Health, uses multi-dimensional communication approaches, including:
- Community outreach activities and services for behavior change.
- Distribution of socially marketed condoms.
- Using of traditional mass media.
- Other information, education and communication (IEC) materials.
Malaria Control and Prevention
SFH works to promote the consistent and correct use of mosquito nets in all households in Rwanda. SFH utilizes mid and mass media as well as its chain of CBOs to reach the target populations. We are also involved in the packaging of Primo Yellow and Primo Red anti-malarial medication for children under five years old.
SFH utilizes a social marketing approach to promote family planning contraceptives commonly known as Confiance which include pills and injectables. We also utilize behavior change communication (BCC) activities to address the unmet needs of families to limit and space births.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
SFH Rwanda utilizes a social marketing approach to promote water purifying products known as Sur’Eau and P&G developed by Proctor & Gamble to the communities with limited access to clean and safe water. We also conduct behavior change communications to promote the use of clean water within households across Rwanda.
SFH conducts behavior change communication (BCC) in order to promote appropriate nutritional and health behaviors. Our strategies and approaches bring together community members to ensure they understand the importance of good nutrition and the implications of a lack of good nutrition, including challenges such as stunting, wasting, and underweight among children less than five years old.
Maternal and Child Health
SFH also actively involves itself in the promotion of healthy behaviors for mothers and pregnant women in Rwanda. The organization utilizes mid and mass media channels of communication, as well as community outreach initiatives, to promote maternal and child health messages throughout Rwanda.
- U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
- The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad)
- United Nations Renewed Efforts Against Child Hunger (UN REACH)
- SC Johnson
- U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)
- Ministry of Health of the Republic of Rwanda
- Access Bank
- Sun Alliance Rwanda
- Community-based organizations (CBOs)
- Rwanda National Police
- Rwanda Youth Volunteers in Community Policing (RYVCP)
- Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC)
- Minister of Local Government (MINALOC)
- Rwanda Association of Local Government Authorities (RALGA)
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