A story on UpstreamDownstream.org entitled Animation Works! really caught my attention today (pretty understandably, considering the work we do here at Health Nuts Media!)
Written by “Qians,” a Masters Candidate in Health Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the short post notes how animation can help “deliver important but abstruse messages” to people with low health literacy. He tells how a wonderful animation, The Story of Cholera, was used by a UNICEF development consultant to help villagers in a cholera-stricken West African community. After watching the video, even though they weren’t able to understand the English narration, the villagers were able to understand the key messages about cholera, sanitation, and what they could do to help stop the spread of this horrible infection.
The video is a masterpiece of healthcare animation! Produced by the Global Health Media Project in collaboration with award-winning animator Yoni Goodman, the film is remarkable in its powerful use of easily understood storytelling imagery to convey health messages and concepts.
The video doesn’t shy away from telling the truth; cholera causes horrendous vomiting and diarrhea and is spread via unsafe sanitation practices. The graphic portrayal of these things would be difficult – at best – with live action video. But, using animation, these issues can be addressed directly without becoming too offensive or grotesque.
The Story of Cholera is only about 4-1/2 minutes long. Try watching it first without the audio narration and then watch it again with the sound turned back up. The narration is very good, but the animated story is so well done, I think you’ll see that the message is essentially just as powerful without audible words. In other words, if you can’t hear or if you don’t understand the language used, it doesn’t matter. The animation’s power is beyond words.
Posted – September 25, 2012