My name is Chimwemwe.
I am 9 years old.

When I heard vaccination day was coming to school, I was not sure what that meant. Even though I wanted to know more, at first I didn’t know who to speak to or where to find the information.

But then we were given the Zathu mini-magazine at school. I read it at home with my mother. It helped us learn about cervical cancer and how the HPV vaccine can protect against the disease but only if you get both of the doses.

I feel happy that now I have this knowledge about how to stay healthy and can tell my friends not to be afraid of vaccination day.

The HPV vaccine can protect against the disease but only if you get both of the doses.

580k Mini-magazines distributed to 9-years-old girls and their parents
34 Readers of the magazine are 34% more likely to believe the HPV vaccine does not lead to infertility
32 Readers of the magazine are 32% more likely to have had the first dose of the HPV vaccine than non-readers

The impact

Explaining the importance of the HPV vaccine to younger girls with lower literacy

In Malawi, primary school drop-out rates are among the highest in Africa. To try and guarantee high coverage, the HPV vaccine is administered to 9-years-old girls.

Understanding that girls this age have lower literacy levels and do not make decisions about their health, Girl Effect created the Zathu mini-magazine. Designed for girls to read with their parents or caregivers, the visual “mini-mag” has increased discussion among families, friends and neighbours about health, cervical cancer and the HPV vaccine. Girl readers are more positive about the HPV vaccine and motivated to get it.

Messages in the mini-mag are reinforced through Zathu’s weekly radio drama, which is aimed at adolescents. The show stresses the importance of the HPV vaccine in the hope that siblings will encourage their younger sisters to get the vaccine. The mini-mag and radio show are part of Zathu’s brand, which is consumed by 4.5 million people countrywide.

Girl readers are more positive about the HPV vaccine and motivated to get it.

Malawi quote

I read about the vaccine and that we should receive it because it is important to girls. We should also encourage our friends. Our friends should not be afraid when receiving the vaccine.

10 years old girl

Subscribe to our newsletter