The work and process of working with international groups
On my case studies page, I cover the work I have done with the group HealthCare Tends with Dr. Azeez Butali, and their project “Help My Pikin”. While I was working with Dr. Butali, I was very lucky to experience what it was to create something for a different cultural group that had a need that traditional methods of communication were failing.
In Nigeria, about 2,300 children under the age of 5 die everyday and a lot of these deaths are very preventable with vaccinations and hospital follow-ups. These are all very practiced methods of child health care, here in the United States, so the question asked is why aren’t these practices applied in Nigeria?
What HealthCare Trends found was not only health literacy was low, but so was language literacy, especially with the mothers. In Nigeria, education is not as available to youth, particularly for young girls, which impacts the community by not having the ability to share information with traditional forms of communication such as brochures and other printed reading material. HealthCare Trends saw this and started working on a solution.
The first issue was vaccines.
The first plan of Help My Pikin was implementing a scheduled reminder that would notify new mothers, on their mobile phones, that their babies were due for a vaccination. This did increase the number of vaccinated babes, but there was still a need to educate. While there was an uptick in vaccinations, Help My Pikin wanted to make sure mothers knew why the vaccines were important. While in the community, many concerning practices were observed. There was little education about proper breastfeeding, the importance of hand washing, and how to clean the fresh umbilical cut. As babies become toddlers, there was also a concern about nutrition and how to introduce new foods to baby. Lastly, they wanted to cover some warnings signs that should send the family directly to a hospital or clinic.
Previous groups had tried to use print information and there was little success, so…
Dr. Butali approached me at a Rotary meeting and asked me about my job and how it worked. He had an idea to use animations on preloaded tablets to visually communicate these concepts and ideas. I was very excited about this because this was my first project on an international level, and I had a lot of ideas on how to help. When I first met with Dr. Butali, he was extremely helpful with information about what HealthCare Trends had done, how it was received, what their goals were, what the concerns were, and where things were at as of that moment. It made it very apparent that I had to make sure the work I was doing was not only informative but also relatable for the people that were going to be watching my animations. This meant the people in the animations had to look like the people watching them, the color palette had to be culturally aware, and I had to make sure the content was relevant to the people watching down to food examples and warnings. At the end, I was very proud of the work Dr. Butali and I created together.
After the animations were created and had their different voiceovers, I was excited to see the final product. Dr. Butali went to Nigeria and piloted the new communication tools. They were well received! After Dr. Butali’s visit, I followed up and was glad to hear that the presentation rooms were packed full and the products were starting to have a real impact!
This was one of my first international projects, but I am excited to see what the results will be after three years, five years, and ten years. I named my company LEGACY because of this very reason, to help a plan come to fruition for the creator and help them build their legacy, but also the legacy created by the lives saved and bettered.
For additional information about Help My Pikin, click here and see how you can help. A big thank you to Dr. Azeez Butali and HealthCare Trends for allowing me to work with them, but also for the impact you are making and the lives you are changing.