The rainy season in West Africa is causing cholera to spread at an alarming rate. Education is critical in protecting people. “High quality resources like The Story of Cholera are urgently needed,” said Simon Lawson, a Communications for Development Consultant for UNICEF.*
Simon showed the The Story of Cholera to community members in a small town in Ghana, where conditions are typical of cholera “hot spots”: semi-urban slum, poor sanitation, open defecation, and unprotected shallow wells for drinking water. Very few people in the town understood the causes of cholera.
“Despite most of the audience not understanding the English narration, the group were able to describe all the key messages in the film; about how cholera was transmitted, and what the boy had done to help his community rid itself of cholera. All agreed that their community should be capable of doing something similar for themselves. Thus, the seeds of a community-based solution were sown.”
The power of the film in conveying key sanitation messages inspired Simon to get the film narrated in several local African languages for use by UNICEF and cholera response partners in the region. He is also hoping to show it on national TV and on a couple of large public advertising video screens in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
* The views expressed here are those of Simon Lawson, and do not necessarily reflect those of UNICEF.