Ethiopia Reaching girls at scale
Helping rural and urban girls across Ethiopia understand cervical cancer and HPV.
- 7 September 2020
- 2 min read
- by Gavi Staff
My name is Beza.
I am 14 years old.
I used to be shy and quiet but watching Yegna has given me confidence to talk about things that matter to me. The TV show is so addictive. I watch every week with my sister. It talks about issues I face at home and at school, and gives me ideas on how to handle challenges.
I love all the Yegna girls, but I love Lomi the most. Her life is so like mine and watching her helps me deal with life without my mother, who died from cervical cancer.
I’ll always remember the episode when Lomi’s grandmother died. She had cervical cancer, too. It broke my heart.
But then I saw Lomi write that magazine on how others can avoid the cancer, and I felt hopeful. It inspired me to talk to my friends about why we shouldn’t miss the HPV vaccine because it can save our lives.
Watching her helps me deal with life without my mother, who died from cervical cancer.
Helping rural and urban girls across Ethiopia understand cervical cancer and HPV
Many Ethiopian families live in communities where infrastructure hinders access to information. Additionally girls can face greater parental controls resulting from safety concerns and cultural expectations.
Girl Effect’s youth brand Yegna is a household name that has nationwide reach through its media content. Yegna introduced Ethiopia’s first TV drama for teenagers, a national broadcast that reached urban and rural communities, captivating an audience of over 10 million people, including 14-years-old girls, the target vaccine group. The show tackles real-life challenges that teenage girls face today, including topics on health and the HPV vaccine.
Now in its fourth season, around 90% of viewers are watching the series weekly or fortnightly. When TV drama viewers are compared with non-viewers, Yegna audiences have greater knowledge about cervical cancer and the HPV vaccine. They also have a better factual understanding of the HPV vaccine and trust its safety.
My parents think that the vaccine has very bad side effects… since I started listening to the talk show I’ve realised that the vaccine can protect you ... and I know I can convince my family.