Source here

It’s been a while since I last posted.

I came across an article today about a film about rheumatic heart disease, entitled, Open Heart.  

It is the story of eight Rwandan children who leave their families behind and embark on a life-or-death journey to receive high-risk open-heart surgery in Africa’s only free-of-charge, state-of-the-art cardiac hospital, the Salam Center run by Emergency, an Italian NGO. It reminded me of the power of story-telling – it is exceptional! See the compelling trailer of the film here.

I have never been more excited about the impact stories can have on health communication and education!

I also wanted to share an extract from a blog post I read a couple of months ago that’s all about the power of story-telling, which has become an important topic for me in better understanding effective health communication strategies and it’s become a whole chapter in my thesis.

See the full blog post, written by Sarah Byrnes, Senior Health Communications Associate at IQ Solutions’s here.

Storytelling Focuses the Issue

As someone with a strong academic and journalism background, I’m hardwired to stress data and statistics in my writing. Data are necessary, of course, to establish credibility for your proposition or argument. Credibility is important, but data alone won’t resonate with your audience. If the message doesn’t resonate, you won’t see any change in behavior.

“No one ever marched on Washington because of a pie chart.” – Andy Goodman, Storytelling as a Best Practice.

So, what does resonate?

A compelling story.

Presenting and explaining a public health issue within the framework of storytelling gives the audience the context they need to understand the issue and see the big picture—including the causes, consequences, and opportunities for change. Stories put a face on an issue, eliciting an emotional response from the audience. Whether it is empathy, anger, or happiness, emotions increase the salience of an issue, make it more memorable, and provoke action or behavior change.

“Stories Are Facts With Souls”

Suzanne Gaulocher, a presenter in the storytelling session at  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) 2012 National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media, said, “Stories are facts with souls.” This gets to the essence of why stories are so important in our society and how powerful they can be in public health.

Stories enable us to engage with new knowledge and broader perspectives, because we encounter them in the familiar territory of human experience.

Source here

Preventing Heart Disease in Community. Watch this Video

This has got to be one of the best talks I have heard about Chronic Diseases and the ways in which to prevent heart disease and diabetes. It highlights the fact that Chronic illnesses are social illnesses and that they can only be combated in community, working together, through peer-support.

What an inspiring talk!

I highly encourage you to see it if you are interested and invested in public health education and the important role peer-education plays in prevention of Cardiovascular Health!

Prevention is not going to happen in the Doctor’s rooms – it’s all about changing our lifestyles and behaviors. Changing the choices we make – everyday. Taking it a day at a time.

I really liked the fact that Mark Hyman, a Jewish Doctor collaborated with a Christian pastor, Rick Warren to start The Daniel Plan in Rick’s church, Saddleback. Read more about this life-changing plan right here. They began this healthy living program in the church’s small groups and together they lost 250 000 pounds. Now that is impressive!

We need to fight heart disease in community. Thank you to my husband, David for sending me this video and also for being that amazing support to living a healthy life.

I keep thinking of that High School Musical song – ‘We’re all in this together’

We’re all in this together
Once we know
That we are
We’re all stars
And we see that
We’re all in this together
And it shows
When we stand
Hand in hand
Make our dreams come true

Together, together, together everyone
Together, together, come on lets have some fun
Together, were there for each other every time
Together together come on lets do this right

Yes to heart health! Health Communication matters!! 🙂