Monthly Archives: August 2012

UNICEF uses The Story of Cholera in escalating epidemic in West Africa

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.

August 23rd, 2012||1 Comment

Charlotte Blake Alston narrates newborn care videos

“For every newborn that crosses my threshold, I feel the inclination to unwrap them, check the umbilical cord, count breaths and check for chest indrawing!” These are the words of Charlotte Blake Alston after she narrated the final editions of our first 10 videos on newborn care. She is a master storyteller, professional narrator, instrumentalist, and singer who has performed at a wide range of venues worldwide including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Women of the World Festival in South Africa and the Cape Clear Island Festival in Ireland. Charlotte holds two honorary doctorates and has received numerous other honors and awards including the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Circle of Excellence Award from the National Storytelling Association. We are very grateful to Charlotte for the pro bono contribution of her lovely resonant voice to our first videos.

August 14th, 2012||1 Comment

Newborn care videos getting broad distribution

Our newborn care videos—released about one month ago—have been watched in over 100 countries and more than 2,000 copies have been downloaded by staff from WHO, UNICEF, Health Ministries, teaching institutions, and large and small NGO’s.  The videos are being promoted by several organizations including Save the Children (highlighted on their Healthy Newborn Network website), HealthPhone (providing access in numerous Indian languages), and Solution Exchange India (housed at UNICEF India, and sharing this resource with its membership of 4,000 maternal and child health practitioners).

August 7th, 2012||1 Comment
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