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HealthPhone™: The Story of Cholera

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This is the story of how cholera changed my village

Tiny germs of cholera too small to see spread through the river. So small, yet so dangerous.

Without realizing, women carried cholera home in the water.

Flies carried cholera on their feet. Unwashed hands spread it too.

We swallowed cholera germs in our water, on our food and on our fingers.

It happened so fast, by morning my father was very sick.

He had diarrhea that looked like gray water and poured out of him.

I was so scared I went for help.

I never rode so fast.

One look at my father and the nurse knew it was cholera. We had to work fast to save him. We made a special drink to help him.

First, we made the water safe. We filtered it through cloth and boiled it for one minute.

Then, we mixed 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 6 teaspoons of sugar in one liter of this safe water. It tasted like tears, not too salty.

I worried my father would die before my eyes. But he soon felt a little stronger. The nurse explained to me that not everyone who swallows cholera germs gets sick like my father, but they can still spread the disease.

Now I needed to take safe water to my village and teach them how to protect themselves from cholera.

I saw a girl carrying water. I told her she could make the water safe by adding chlorine drops and waiting half an hour.

There was a man about to eat with unclean hands. I told him to always wash his hands with soap and safe water after going to the toilet. Only with clean hands could he eat safely.

I saw villagers spreading cholera into our river. I told them we needed to dig latrines far from the river, at least 30 metres away. This was important to keep our village clean.

I found a mother preparing unsafe food. I told her: "First we must wash our hands with safe water. Then, we have to wash and peel the food, cook it and always eat it hot, and protect it from flies.

I spread the word throughout my village, and ran to find my father. I was so happy to see he was better.

Our village became healthy. Now we filter and boil our water to make sure it is safe. We always use latrines and always wash our hands after.

Food is safe from flies, washed, and peeled and cooked.

And we always wash our hands before cooking and eating.

We made our village safe from cholera. Spread the word. Your village can be safe too.

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes and 28 seconds
Year: 2011
Country: Haiti
Language: English
Producer: Deborah van Dyke, Global Health Media Project
Director: Yoni Goodman
Views: 12,782
Posted by: nand on Mar 5, 2012

The Global Health Media Project collaborated with award-winning animator Yoni Goodman to produce The Story of Cholera. Developed in response to the devastating cholera epidemic that began in Haiti a year ago, the animation helps affected populations around the world better understand cholera and how to prevent it from spreading.

The Story of Cholera is an engaging, educational animation in which a young boy helps a health worker save his father and then guides his village in preventing cholera from spreading. By making the invisible cholera germs visible, this simple animated narrative brings to life the teaching points of cholera prevention.

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