U Afya

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U Afya
Driving behaviour change to improve family health in Kenya

U Afya

Funders: DFID and Unilever

Country: Kenya

Programme Dates: 2017 – 2021

Department for International Development

Programme Overview

U Afya is the sister programme to U Join – a sustainable digital business model which transforms local Kenyan shopkeepers (duka owners) into effective catalysts for health promotion and behaviour change amongst consumers in low-income households through an e-vouchering scheme.

U Afya is a mobile platform for young mothers that combines supply and demand-side solutions and SBCC for health and nutrition outcomes. It brings the private and development sector together to deliver:

  • Increased nutritional knowledge
  • Increased access to affordable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and nutrition products
  • Commercial value, market research and social mission for corporates.

The Challenge

We wanted to build an engaging and scalable mobile community that reached mothers and mothers-to-be to increase their nutritional knowledge and decision-making confidence, provided behaviour change messaging and promoted hygiene best practices for themselves and their children.

The Solution

Every1Mobile is leveraging the evidence and learnings from our research and rapid testing phases to facilitate cross-cutting behaviour change approaches to drive measurable impact. The solution includes a range of free online courses, expert advice, peer-to-peer support and e-vouchering services.

Programme Results

  • 9,500+ mothers and mothers-to-be registered to access health and hygiene support, information and vouchered products
  • 6 live e-learning courses on hygiene, nutrition and maternal health 
  • On average, 99% of participants surveyed expressed increased confidence about being able to maintain a clean and hygienic household
  • On average, 95% of participants surveyed reported that they felt confident in their ability to make a well-balanced breakfast consisting of the five food groups
  • On average, 94% of participants surveyed correctly answered knowledge questions on handwashing with soap
Study of 133 participants, baseline survey in August 2019 and endline survey in February 2020.

When COVID-19 hit Kenya we trained many young women via U Afya as volunteer Behaviour Change Ambassadors who would engage people without a mobile phoneThese young women conducted outreach activities to encourage vulnerable members of their communities to practice health and hygiene behaviours that combat COVID-19.

  • Over 1,500 women have become volunteer Behaviour Change Ambassadors creating a grassroots movement of young women protecting themselves, their families and their communities from COVID-19
  • Over 9,100 COVID-19 prevention actions have been reported by mothers on the platform, such as installing handwashing stations in public places or teaching neighbours about handwashing with soap

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Downloadable Case study

For more information on our approach and methods, see our case study here.