PMC began working in Senegal in 2007. Senegal has a population over 14 million and the present annual growth rate is 2.39 percent, resulting in a doubling of the population in 29 years if left unchanged.
PMC has broadcast two radio serial dramas in Senegal with tremendous success. Ngelawu Nawet (“Winds of Hope”) was broadcast nationally and a survey revealed a 52 percent listenership. That same survey also revealed that listeners stating that HIV/AIDS could be prevented by using a condom was 6.5 times greater than non-listeners and listeners were 6.3 times more likely to state that women should be 18 years old or older before marriage. Coñal Keele (“Harvesting the Seeds of Life”) aired in the Matam region and had similar results, revealing listeners stating that HIV/AIDS could be prevented by being faithful to one partner at a rate 6.1 times greater than non-listeners.
Senegal is located in western Africa. It has been politically stable since independence in 1960, but it is still one of the poorest countries in the world. Thirty-four percent of the population lives below the international poverty line on US $1.25 per day. Contraceptive use is still considered taboo in Senegalese society, with only 13 percent of the population admitting to using contraceptives. This has led to Senegal having one of the highest fertility rates in the world, with an average of almost five children per woman. In addition to frequent child bearing, Senegalese women face other reproductive health challenges, such as female genital mutilation which impacts 26 percent of Senegalese women.
Photo at left by Joe Penney, USAID.