The Reach and Effect of Radio Communication Campaigns on Condom Use in Malawi



This study uses data from the 2004 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey to assess the reach of selected radio programs about family planning and health in Malawi and their effect on condom use and discussion of family planning. The results show that such radio programs in Malawi reach a broad audience: eight of the 12 programs were heard by at least half of the respondents, although women were less effectively reached than men. For both women and men, the radio programs were found to have a significant impact on family planning discussion with one's partner. The programs’effect on condom use was limited, however. A positive association was found with ever use of condoms, but no association was found with condom use at last intercourse. This limited impact suggests that such radio communication campaigns need to be informed by research identifying the specific constraints to current condom use in Malawi.