Global Health Media Project
By Vivian Day, Ethical Markets Roving Correspondent, March 18, 2013
An amazing project begun by an amazing woman.
No newborn or mother should suffer or die because health workers and caregivers lack reliable health information. Yet they often do. Global Health Media Project (GHMP) is addressing this knowledge gap by creating and distributing high-quality, open-access videos designed to train frontline health workers in the developing world.
The internet and mobile computing revolutions make it possible for these life-saving videos to reach providers when and where they are most needed, via smart phones, video streaming, and DVDs. To date they have reached thousands of frontline health care workers. These videos have the potential to be a game-changer for health care training in low-resource settings around the globe.
Deb Van Dyke is the founder and force behind GHMP. She is a family practice clinician and long-time aid worker trained at Yale and Harvard School of Public Health. Van Dyke worked in Africa and Asia for nearly 20 years–most often with Doctors Without Borders–giving her a unique window into the realities that health workers face in low-resource settings. Her story is compelling. In short, after stepping in to save a newborn that didn’t breath immediately, Deb came to believe in the power of video to teach health workers, showing them what they needed to know, right at their fingertips on a phone or mobile device, and in their own native language. The statistics are equally compelling: for example, 3 million newborns and 300,000 mothers-to-be die each year and 2/3’s of these deaths could be prevented with basic healthcare training. Leveraging the tools of the information revolution, this project can be scaled up quickly and efficiently to help address this crisis.
To date, GHMP has completed ten videos on newborn care, has another ten in post production and plans to finish the full series of 35+ newborn care videos, along with a new series on birth practices over the next 12 months. The first ten newborn care videos were released in July of 2012 and have been downloaded thousands of times by staff from WHO, UNICEF, Save the Children, Health Ministries, teaching institutions and NGOs. They are also featured on both the WHO website and Save the Children’s Healthy Newborn Network. In response to the cholera epidemic in Haiti, they produced an award-winning animated film–The Story of Cholera—which has been narrated in 15 languages and seen in 180+ countries.
With a great deal of passion, persistence, time and a few key partnerships, Deb and her few colleagues have accomplished a tremendous amount with very limited resources in just 2 years. Imagine what GHMP could do with more support.
Please look at globalhealthmedia.org to join this effort.