Tangains Festival 2nd December 2016 to 2nd January 2017, Freetown
FOCUS 1000, the Scaling up Nutrition and Immunization Civil Society Platform (SUNI CSP) and networks that is; Sierra Leone Indigenous Traditional Healers, Christian Action Group, Islamic Action Group , Market Women and Kombra Media Network have completed sensitization and education activities on health and nutrition at the Tangians festival in Freetown.
Organized annually by the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs in collaboration with Freetong Players International and The Best Squad International (TBS), this festival provides cultural entertainment, music, arts and crafts based on past traditions that made Sierra Leone great.
During this one-month festival FOCUS 1000, platform members and networks engaged members of the public by raising awareness on the importance of immunization and promoting good nutrition and hygiene behaviors particularly for vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, lactating mothers and children.
While traditional Healers provided entertainment through song and dance, attracting festival goers to the platform booth, religious leaders used quotations from Bible and Quran to disseminate key messages on immunization with emphasis on the importance of the first marklate which is exclusive breastfeeding, food diversity for good nutrition and hygiene to promote a healthy way of life. Messages on these issues were also shared through traditional story telling and music giving audiences a mix in approaches to information sharing. Market women in partnership with BenniMix company displayed nutritious food items demonstrated the use and value of local fruits and vegetables for consumption. Several of these foods such as plantain, corn mill can be used as complementary feeding for children from 6 months and above when processed as porridge.
In educating festival goers, questions and answers sessions were conducted on immunization, nutrition, polio, malaria, measles etc., and various food and nonfood items given as prizes during the weekly raffle.
Full media coverage on these activities was covered by the Kombra Media Network through radio, newspaper and television broadcasts.