Pakistan: Evidence-led Health Communication Tools, 2000-2001

CIET is concerned not just with gathering high quality evidence but also with the use of that evidence to stimulate change for the better. Results from CIET’s Community Voice in Planning initiative on maternal and child care formed the basis for a small-scale pilot project to develop new communication tools for lady health workers, to increase the effectiveness of their interaction with households. Lady Health Workers (LHWs) tested the new tools in this project in collaboration with the National Programme for Family Planning and Primary Health Care (NPFP&PHC) in the province of Sindh. 
Photo: S. Mhatre

In partnership with the provincial programme implementation unit of the NPFP&PHC, the LHWs and consulting with mothers, local designers and embroidery experts, the resulting tool was made from the traditional Sindi cloth (Ajrak). In the centre are two locally embroidered pictures showing contrasting health care practices. Below each picture there are children depicting the relative impact of the corresponding practice. For example, one of the key messages is to go for antenatal check-ups. Under the picture showing a woman going for a check-up there are six healthy children and four malnourished children. In contrast under the picture showing a mother refusing to go for an antenatal check-up there are only five healthy children and five malnourished children. This contrast shows that a woman who does go for antenatal check-ups is more likely to have healthier children compared with a woman who does not attend. Other evidence-based messages that are being depicted are reducing workload during pregnancy and feeding colostrum to newborns.

A manual in both Sindi and Urdu has also been developed to assist LHWs to use these tools interactively with their clients.

The full report is available from the Library.

See also:

Omer K, Mhatre S, Ansari N, Laucirica J, Andersson N. Evidence-based training of frontline health workers for door-to-door health promotion: A pilot randomized controlled cluster trial with lady health workers in Sindh Province, Pakistan. Patient Education and Counseling 2008; 72: 178–185. Available to personal and institutional subscribers at


Project undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).