In collaboration with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), UNICEF, The Global Health Media Project has produced a cartoon video, The Story of Ebola.
The video presents the Ebola virus in scientific, yet understandable terms for West African countries still facing the viral threat. The challenge was to relate the concept of an "invisible germ" as something that can be fought through understanding of how Ebola is spread.
The Story of Ebola
tells people that they have the power to take control of this disease. It emphasizes preventive behavior as the key to winning the fight against Ebola.
Deborah Van Dyke, Director of the Global Health Media Project, said "We set the narrative in the communities where people are at risk so the story feels like it's about them, relatable."
Currently translated in French, Portuguese, Swahili, Kissi, Krio, Thembe, and Fular, the goal is to provide voice-overs in a number of other West African languages depending on the availability of funds.
The Story of Ebola
is skillfully presented through the eyes of a young girl whose revered grandfather dies from the virus. The family is confused, frightened and saddened when the grandfather is taken away without the benefit of a traditional burial.
A health care worker, who is from the community, explains how Ebola is spread and how a simple thing like regular hand-washing is a vital tool in prevention.
The girl's mother also contracts Ebola, but because she is treated early, survives. The drama ensues when her parents initially decide to run away, fearing that the health care workers are the source of death, instead of the virus.
The young girl convinces her frightened parents to go to the clinic immediately. The end result is that a complicated scientific message is delivered in an easy to understand format.