Comedy film raises TB awareness in Cambodia
More than 4,000 people in Cambodia’s Kampong Cham Province gathered in March and May of 2014 to watch an educational film on tuberculosis (TB). Using humor, the film explores many topics on TB, such as modes of transmission, symptoms, prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
The most popular comedians and rap singers in Cambodia acted in the film, which mixed traditional and modern concepts to call attention to important messages about TB while making the audience laugh. Live activities, including games and an interview with a former TB patient, provided additional information after each screening.
The screenings, supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development in collaboration with local governments, contributed to the TB CARE I project’s goals of reducing stigma and discrimination toward TB patients while increasing awareness of TB and dialogue about the disease.
Sok Sambo, a man from Kampong Cham village, was impressed that the film reached people with educational messages by making them laugh. “I will share the information that I learned about TB with my fellow villagers and refer [others] in my village to the health center,” he said.
The TB CARE I project’s mobile video campaign is an important tool for promoting knowledge about TB. “Community video screenings are essential in getting information about TB to the hard-to-reach populations,” said Dr. Yim Navy, TB supervisor of Chamkar Leu Operational District.
The screenings are also critical to increasing the detection of new TB cases. Through the mobile video campaign, 770 potential patients received TB diagnoses and chest X-rays at referral hospitals. Among these individuals, 18 TB cases were identified and verified.
FHI 360 leads the TB CARE I project in Cambodia in close coordination with the Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association, the KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, Management Sciences for Health and the World Health Organization. Through the project, FHI 360 has introduced initiatives to improve TB services and awareness, such as mobile texting to reduce the delay between testing and treatment, and implementing a communication campaign to raise awareness and improve infection-control practices.