20 Jun Creativity and Animation Provides an Unconventional Way to Advocate for Pneumonia
Article posted on June 20, 2017.
Delivering messages about protecting against, preventing, and treating pneumonia through visual communication
- A video contest in Nigeria invited artists to the health advocacy space—usually occupied by public health professionals.
- Terver Malu, 2nd place winner, used animation to raise awareness of pneumonia and encourage families to prevent the disease with vaccines.
- While medical programs, symposiums, and conferences convey health messages, art has a way of communicating the same ideas in a fun, relatable manner.
Editor: Dignamartha Kakkanattu
Artists provide a different, unconventional channel to carry the message of pneumonia advocacy from the health sector to the general public. With talent, skills, and vision, they create compelling stories to convey the power of interventions to protect against, prevent, and treat pneumonia. Direct Consulting and Logistics Ltd. (DCL) in Nigeria, on behalf of the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC), organized a video contest for artists to exercise their skills in the health advocacy space—usually occupied by public health professionals. This blog series features the top three winners and their new perspectives on engaging in health advocacy.
Interview with Terver Malu, 2nd Place
Why were you interested in participating in this contest?
I came across the announcement about the video contest on Facebook and it captured my interest. I own a media company, House of Zoe, and have been involved in various creative projects and this seemed to be an opportunity to build my portfolio. This contest was a challenge to create a short, engaging, and educational video about a health topic, which is an area that I have not explored in the past. It was exciting to have both the challenge of doing something new and a chance to create content for a great cause.
What came as a surprise to you while working on this video?
Before participating in this video contest, I had very little knowledge about pneumonia. Like many others, I thought the condition came from a cold. That was the wrong information.
To prepare for the video, I did online research from credible sources and learned that pneumonia is often caused by bacteria and other pathogens. My research also found that pneumonia is a major threat in Nigeria, but the awareness is low.
To overcome the obstacle of low awareness, I decided to create a simple story about a 5 year old boy, Bayo, to give the cause a name and a face. By doing this, the audience will emotionally connect with the boy’s situation and would be encouraged to protect a child from the harms of pneumonia. Through the story, I described the causes of pneumonia and the best preventive method, vaccines, so that more people in Nigeria are aware.
What did you learn about advocacy through this project?
DCL and Women Advocates for Vaccine Access (WAVA), an IVAC initiative, did a good job in using an unconventional way to educate the public about pneumonia. While medical programs, symposiums, and conferences convey health messages, this taught me that art has a way of communicating the same ideas in a fun, relatable manner.
Nigeria as a whole has to take pneumonia advocacy seriously. Everyone has something to contribute that may reduce the burden of this disease to the lowest minimum. Teachers, artists, and religious leaders need to get involved because they have a greater impact on society with a large audience.
How has this work impacted you and how do you plan to use this experience moving forward?
This experience has opened my eyes to a different side of film making. Like many in my industry, I am interested in exploring this new space of advocacy. I set aside other travel priorities in order to attend the WAVA creative art workshop where we learned about health communication and infographics. The contest has given me greater confidence in developing videos tied to health topics and I completed another project about kidney disease in Nigeria.