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Lori Thicke - TWB - on BBC re Ebola

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[Dan Damon] So the fight against Ebola— of course, medical intervention is the first priority, but of almost the same importance, helping people understand the disease and how to fight it. Ignorance and rumor have hampered the relief efforts in some countries. Translators Without Borders is a charity that works to overcome the information gap, and Lori Thicke is the founder and president of Translators Without Borders, and she's come into our World Update studio, and thanks for doing that. Tell us about some of the work you've done. [Lori Thicke] Thank you very much for having me, Dan. In the Ebola crisis in particular, that is simply a crisis of lack of information combined with lack of medical expertise. We are concentrating on written information because in a context of so few doctors we were speaking with local people on the ground and there are very, very few doctors. The WHO just estimated that there are something like under fifty doctors for Liberia, for example, so in the context of so few doctors, written information is really important. We wouldn't go into rural France with posters in English. So it seems to us a little bit shocking to go into rural Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone with posters in English. [Dan Damon] Because trust is important, and trust can be missing— we spoke to a nurse who had been working in Liberia, and the problem is that people just don't understand why there are these strangers coming in wearing all these kinds of spacesuits and their people are dying. They're just getting the information. I'm looking at a poster that you've done. This is in Hausa, I believe. Is that correct? >>[Lori Thicke] Yes, it is. You're right, and what happened with this—because we find that the nonprofits who are operating in the field aren't always either aware of the language issues because they tend to deal with the global elite who work with them— the urban doctors and nurses and other medical staff, so they're not as aware of the language barrier and what we do is we work on them to make them aware that if you're speaking to somebody you really need to speak to them in a language they understand. As you said, that's a trust issue. How can you build trust if you're not even speaking their language? So we saw this excellent poster by SOS International that was actually in English, and we thought if you could get this into the local languages people are going to understand it better and lives will be saved. [Dan Damon] Of course, literacy levels aren't that high in some of these places. It is written enough— don't you need people who actually go there and speak? [Lori Thicke] We've had that all along. We've had that all along, people who go there and speak. In fact, we feel that's not enough. An MSF doctor said to me that people remember 20% of what he says and 10% of that is wrong. So in a situation where you have literacy levels above 65%-75%, there's always someone in the family who can read a poster, and as you know, we retain information better when we see it. [Dan Damon] Well, it's remarkable work that you're doing. I guess you need more help, don't you? More translators. [Lori Thicke] We certainly need a lot more funding, a lot more help in the field. [Dan Damon] Lori, thanks for coming in. Lori Thicke who is from Translators Without Borders. This is World Update.

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 9 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Views: 75
Posted by: pacamu2000 on Sep 2, 2014

BBC Interview

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