Social Mobilization Through Theatre For Emergency Polio Outbreak Response in 3 Regions in Ghana - Greater Accra, Central, And Eastern

Donor:    UNICEF Ghana

Period:    November 2020 – February 2021

Results: Reached 5249 people (comprising 1648 males and 3599 females) including duty bearers, caregivers, parents, from the Greater Accra, Central and Eastern regions in 48 communities in 12 districts with awareness, education and knowledge to practice good personal hygiene; regularly attend child welfare clinics for routine immunization against polio and other child diseases; acceptance of mass polio immunizations, identify early signs of polio and the need to seek early medical attention for early diagnoses; and the awareness that polio has no cure but the surest way of prevention is through the polio vaccine. 


Situation Problem:       There is a polio outbreak in Ghana and there is the risk of further spread of the virus because there are unimmunized children, meaning they are not protected from the poliovirus infection and hence it can easily attack them. Polio can cause life-long paralysis and even death. There is no cure for polio and it can only be prevented through vaccination.


Response Solution:      A five-step approach was adapted,  including initial stakeholder engagements, project baseline survey, community focus group discussions, training of community volunteers and community interactive theatre (drama) performance to creating awareness, education and knowledge to practice good personal hygiene; regular attendance to child welfare clinics for routine immunization against polio and other child diseases; acceptance of mass polio immunizations, identify early signs of polio and the need to seek early medical attention for early diagnoses; and the awareness that polio has no cure but the surest way of prevention is through the polio vaccine.

Urban Sanitation Programme to End Open Defecation

Donor:                         UNICEF Ghana

Period:                        June 2018 – March. 2019

Results:                       In all 129 volunteers were trained in interactive theatre (drama) performance in 3 municipalities: Ashaiman, Ho and Tamale Metro. Five hundred and seventy-nine (579) people signed up to construct their own household toilets (HHT)

  • Six thousand six hundred and ten (6610) people reached with information and education on the benefit of HHT.
  • People have acquired knowledge and developed interest in HHT
  • The project has improved sign-ups for household toilets. Raised awareness and improved sign-ups for credit for the construction of household toilets.


  • Visibility of the UNICEF Urban Sanitation Programme has been enhanced through the various community level theatre performances.
  • Project has gained sustainability by training volunteer performers across the communities to champion sanitation activities
  • The project provided an opportunity for self and community-wide enquiry into sanitation behaviours and practices as the interactive theatre performances re-lived the experiences of the people and suggested solutions to overcoming the challenges.
  • The project through the use of interactive theatre contributed to demand for the construction of household toilets among people in the communities.

Situation Problem: People living and working in poor urban communities in Ghana are at particularly high risk of the transmission of cholera and other sanitation related diseases and fatality due to poor access to clean water, poor sanitation facilities and limited access to health services. High rates of irregular or no school attendance mean that children and young people in such communities require a community-based intervention. The potential for spread of these sanitation related diseases is high considering the continuous existence of the following risk factors: open defecation, inadequate supply of safe water; poor food and personal hygiene and poor liquid and solid waste disposal.


Response Solution: Conceptualized, developed and drafted drama scripts for the approval of UNICEF Ghana C4D and beneficiary municipalities. Trained community volunteers to perform the developed scripts in their communities. Performed exciting and innovative community based drama and skits in 3 MMDAs aiming to promote capacity building and social change by creating awareness, practical skills and knowledge strengthening of communities on best sanitation practices and business opportunities and hence creating demand for the construction of household toilets and to improve sanitation in 3 municipalities (Ho, Tamale and Ashaiman)

Theatre for Bird Flu Project

Donor:  UNICEF

Period: January-March 2016,

Results: Reached 5, 200 people including children and poultry farmers in the communities with information, knowledge and prevention of the bird flu transmission mode. No human infection was recorded and no further spread was recorded whilst the poultry farmers has the understanding of the necessity why the vertinary service/NADMO had to destroy the remaining birds. 

Situation Problem: The outbreak of Avian Influenza (bird Flu) in 2015 in Ghana showed that Greater Accra Region with 30 communities in 11 districts faced the problem with a total destruction of 69,100 birds. Such problem could lead to an unsafe environment for consumption of any poultry and its products, affecting children, parents, and community members. Good awareness education, communication and

knowledge of bird flu transmission modes and prevention could avoid human infection. That was where Theatre for Social Change (TfSC) came in.


Response Solution: To address the issue, UNICEF-Ghana, NADMO,  and Vetinary Service, first met. Working together, they created a plan to use TfSC’s interactive drama to create the needed awareness, education, information and knowledge of bird flu in the 20 most affected communities in Greater Accra Region for the people and the bird farmers whilst the veterinary doctors serving as resource persons. TfSC worked with community volunteers on peer education, focus-group discussions, advocacy, and devising stories for drama performances. 160 community volunteers from 20 communities, learned to create the awareness and avoidance of bird flu infection through peer education, focus-group discussions and drama performances . The volunteers stressed on avoidance of eating any poultry and its products in the communities. Encouraging community members to express opinions, and reporting for support in case of any evidence of the bird flu.

Theatre for Cholera Project


Period: September 2015 – March 2016

Results: Reached 14,408 people (including children and young people) in 71 locations across 6 communities with cholera and Ebola awareness information, education and knowledge. The implementation succeeded and the awareness was sustained. This led the people to adopt safe hygiene and better sanitation practices and as a result fewer air-borne and food-borne diseases. Many people signed onto UNICEF-Ghana’s “Agoo hotline/SMS service” and further cholera outbreaks were avoided in subsequent years in those communities.

Situation Problem: The people living and working in poor urban communities (Agbogbloshie, Dome, James Town, Labadi, Madina and Osu) of Greater Accra region In Ghana were in a state of panic after 2014 and 2015 outbreaks of cholera that had caused 200 deaths. The government was faced with having to provide the people with access to clean water, good sanitation facilities and good access to health services, whilst it was anxiously preparing to prevent Ebola outbreak that had affected other West African countries.

Response Solution: UNICEF –Ghana conducted a survey through Ghana Health Services to reduce and prevent incidence of Cholera and Ebola further outbreaks of cholera among children and young people in identified 6 hot-spots in Agbogbloshie, Dome, James Town, Labadi, Madina and Osu in Ghana.  Theatre for Cholera Project was designed by UNICEF-Ghana and implemented by Theatre for Social Change with Ghana Health service as ongoing reflective education to increasing people’s knowledge of Cholera and Ebola (transmission modes, preventative practices, and treatment); promoting positive behavior change around risky hygiene practices; and facilitating  their access   to   health   information through UNICEF-Ghana’s “‘Agoo’ hotline and alert service”.

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