Photography and Health

Photography and Health

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Last Update: August 31, 2012

The Halo Foundation is a social entrepreneurship organization involved in health promotion/health marketing. We provide innovative means of arming communities with the necessary information to help improve their health standards and change their health behaviours. We use different forms of media, including photography, radio, and mobile technology.

Type: hybrid

The Problem

Nigeria is among the countries with the highest maternal and child mortality rates in the world. Many of the deaths are needless and are caused by easily preventable diseases such as diarrhoea and malnutrition. The main problem however is a dearth of knowledge and the necessary technical know-how on how to prevent these diseases, especially among the most vulnerable population groups such as those who live in rural communities and have no access to the internet. Another challenge is the failure of these groups to transform the information already gained to habits due to various cultural and superstitious beliefs. The challenge therefore is for The Halo Foundation to provide such information to these groups in the most appealing and engaging way using different forms of media.

The Solution

The Halo Foundation therefore works as a health promotion/ health marketing organization by using different forms of media (with a bias for photography) to address the prevalent health issues in its community and causing behavioural changes. The foundation will first research on the prevalent diseases and identify the information gaps and barriers to using gained information and appropriately disseminate information using the following means: Photography - The foundation tries to represent the relevant information in pictures and prints these pictures in a bulletin format and distributes free to the communities. Distribution is coupled with continuous outreaches in town halls, markets and schools. The foundation addresses the fears and superstitions of the community through these outreaches. The foundation also supports the community by helping to overcome barriers to information usage, such as building toilets or hand washing stations where necessary to tackle diarrhoea diseases.

Example

Ada is young girl who had to drop out of secondary school because of an unwanted pregnancy. Her parents sent her packing from the house and the father of her child has abandoned her. She was able to give birth and now works in a factory. She however notices that her child falls sick quite often and isn't quite growing like other children. She spends a lot of her meagre salary trying to treat her child. Through one of Halo Foundation's outreaches in her community, she came across one of the photo-bulletins that addressed the issue of malnutrition and diarrhoeal diseases. The photo-bulletin, through its captivating pictures aroused her curiosity and she spoke with one of the foundation's representatives. The representative was able to educate her on the need for exclusive breast-feeding and proper hand-washing and sanitation practices. Ada was initially hesitant to accepting such practices, insisting she was busy at work and did not see the need for it but through continuous engagement and support from the foundation, she finally obliged and began such practices. Ada's baby has since begun to develop normally and falls sick sporadically. Ada can use her money for other important things like buying nutritious foods for herself and baby. Ada has also become a health informant in her community and helps to tell other women about the benefit of such practices.

Budget: $1,000 - $10,000

Marketplace

Maternal and Child mortality is a big issue in Nigeria, so a lot government and bilateral agencies are involved in curbing the menace. There are also a couple of non-profits that address such issues. However, many of these agencies have their focus in urban areas and recycle such information within that area. These agencies make use of technologies that are currently not accessible by rural communities such as the internet. The Halo Foundation is unique in that it addresses the immediate needs of the community using a form of media that is acceptable and accessible by members of that community. It also utilizes community participation and persistent engagement until it yields result.

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