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Social marketing sex education in Zimbabwe (through hair salons)

New health marketing techniques directly tailored to the social environments of their beneficiaries helps spread sex education in Zimbabwe.

The South Africa Node writes,

"Innovative approaches to fighting the AIDS pandemic are underway in Africa. In Zimbabwe, a novel social marketing programme run by Population Services International (PSI) brings messages about the female condom and its correct use to women in secure settings – hair salons. Last year over one million female condoms were distributed in Zimbabwe through the Programme. According to the PSI, there has been a 10% decline in HIV prevalence in Zimbabwe since 2006."

Implications

IFTF writes that social marketing techniques can help find new avenues for health education that are more oriented to people's everyday lives. This could allow for highly targeted and effective outreach campaigns. It could also potentially be exploited for advertising. Regardless, social marketing could also reduce the burden on time-constrained and overstretched health providers. The South Africa Node emphasizes that "If governments are serious about achieving development goals on maternal mortality and women's reproductive health, they will have to find ways to improve the numbers and distribution of skills in the public health service."

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