Progress Reports - Radio Serials Overview

Progress Reports are submitted annually to THE ROTARY FOUNDATION and to the German Government as requested. These reports are also sent to AVENTIS FOUNDATION and to all sponsoring Rotary, Rotaract and Inner Wheel Clubs. Since 2008 we collect monthly data from the ten selected hospitals which are analysed and semi-annually published in a 'Hospital Report'. This Report is discussed by representatives of the ten hospitals in regular review meetings. In a benchmarking process the causes of maternal and fetal mortality are
stepise more and more reduced.

The project is monitored by the German/Austrian project team in close cooperation with the local project team and project staff. All members of the German, Austrian and Nigerian project teams are volunteers, Rotarians and Rotaractors. 


PMC carried out a radio serial drama project in Nigeria in collaboration with the Rotarian Action Group on Population and Development (RFPD). PMC produced and broadcast Gugar Goge (“Tell it to me Straight”), a 70-episode radio serial drama addressing reproductive health, family planning, and obstetric fistula in northern Nigeria. Obstetric fistula is a condition commonly resulting from early childbirth that makes its victims incontinent. 

Gugar Goge was broadcast over regional government-owned and private radio stations in Kaduna and Kano states from June 2006 to February 2007. By mid-September, 47 percent of new reproductive health clients indicated they were listening to the program. Clinic monitoring data determined that Gugar Goge served as the primary motivation to seek health care services for 33% of family planning/reproductive health clients and 54% of fistula clients.

The endline evaluation of the program showed that 91.9% of the population in Kano and Kaduna states had heard at least one episode of the program. This equates to approximately 9.3 million people in Kano state and 6.2 million people in Kaduna state, for a combined total of 15.5 million exposed to the program out of a population of 16.9 million. Even more impressive was the fact that 82.1% of those interviewed reported listening to the radio serial drama weekly (four or more episodes per month). The endline evaluation also found that:

  • When asked their opinion as to whether “a woman with fistula should be part of the community like everyone else,” more male listeners (32.1%) “strongly agreed” with this statement than did non-listeners (17.6%).
  • When asked if they or someone they knew had “ever sought treatment for fistula,” more female listeners (59.7%) said “yes” compared to non-listeners (48.5%).
  • A significant difference was found between male listeners (92.8%) reporting knowing of a place to get a male condom compared to non-listeners (75.0%). A significantly larger percentage of female listeners (96%) also knew of a place to get condoms compared to female non-listeners (64.4%).
  • When asked if a condom was used the last time they had sexual intercourse with “any other man” in the last twelve months, significantly more female listeners (79.5%) said “yes” compared to female non-listeners (35.6%).
  • When asked if it is “acceptable or not for information on condoms to be provided,” significantly more female listeners (87.2%) compared to female non-listeners (49.1%) said it is “acceptable.”

A post-broadcast qualitative evaluation, which consisted of participatory sketching and photography with avid listeners of Gugar Goge, demonstrated the personal impact of the obstetric fistula storyline. Many listeners, both in their sketches and photos, fo­cused on the interrelated themes of early marriage and pregnancies, the development of obstetric fistula, and the debilitating (and often fatal) consequences of such practices.

In addition to Rotary support, the project was funded by the Conservation, Food and Health Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

PMC is now carrying out a second serial drama project in northern Nigeria in 2007, with continuing support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Conservation, Food and Health Foundation and new support from an individual contributor. The new program, Ruwan Dare (“Midnight Rain”), began broadcasting in Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, and Sokoto states on July 31, 2007.

PMC is also developing a second project dealing with obstetric fistula with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). It will involve a radio talk show and capacity building among community leaders for promoting behavior change to prevent fistula.

A Qualitative Assessment Report

At the website of Soul Beat Africa (, you can find the following article on PMC’s work in northern Nigeria.gugargogereportqualitativeevaluation5207_35.jpg

Click here to download this report in PDF format.

Participatory Assessment of Gugar Goge, an Entertainment-Education Radio Soap Opera in Nigeria: A Qualitative Assessment Report

Arvind Singhal, Sarah Hurlburt, Radha Vij

Publication Date
April 2007


This report documents the results of a participatory assessment exercise conducted in Nigeria to gauge audience reception of Gugar Goge (“Tell It To Me Straight”), an entertainment-education radio soap opera produced by Population Media Center that sought to promote education for girls, the delay of marriage and pregnancies, and the adoption of family planning and maternal health services to both prevent and treat obstetric fistula. The assessment exercise, which used participatory sketching and participatory photography, aimed to assess how frequent listeners engaged with the radio programme, and how they derived personal meanings from its plot, characters, and educational messages.

According to the authors, the results of the qualitative report are not meant to be generalised to the entire population of Gugar Goge audience members. The research, at best, can suggest how certain (self-selected) viewers of the radio programme engaged with, and reflected upon, the content of the programme, providing insights that could not be gained from traditional, quantitative impact evaluations.

Three research questions guided the study. These questions, and their respective answers are provided below.


"Research Question #1: What is the radio drama Gugar Goge about?

Our participants’ sketches and photos suggested that those who were regular listeners (1) comprehended the various intersecting plotlines of Gugar Goge, (2) could describe the attributes of its main characters, and, in so doing, (3) could articulate its various educational messages: that is, overcoming the harmful reproductive health practices of early marriage and multiple pregnancies; the importance of safe motherhood and the seeking of professional care, detection and treatment of obstetric fistula, and how youth can prevent infection with HIV, and stay away from vices such as drugs and alcohol.

Research Question #2: As a female (or male) listener, which scene from Gugar Goge was most meaningful to you and why?

Our participants’ sketches suggest various degrees of emotional and personal resonance with the key plotlines and characters. Our participants freely talked about the debilitating health consequences for a woman (1) if her husband does not get her the professional medical attention she needs at the time of delivering a child, (2) if she is withdrawn from school and married off at an early age. The overwhelming emotional sentiment of our participants toward reproductive health of women was reflected in the pithy phrase: "Education as Protection".

Research Question #3: How has your life changed as a result of listening to Gugar Goge?

The sketches, photos, and narratives of our participants, especially those of regular listeners of Gugar Goge, suggest that listening to the radio program affected their lives in various ways. Listeners emphasized that they learned about, or were reinforced in, the following: The importance of (1) educating girls, (2) delaying marriage until a woman’s body is mature, (3) having a small family, (4) pre and ante-natal care, (5) early treatment of obstetric fistula, and (6) male responsibility in not marrying young girls, and assisting their partner in seeking professional reproductive health services when she becomes pregnant."

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