Healthy Babies, Smiling Families
Shoklo Malaria Research Unit
Languages: English, Karen, Burmese
Thumbnails 1-4 English Language, 5-8 Karen Language, 9-12 Burmese Language
Film 01: Pregnancy, ante natal care, safe delivery
Film 02: Care for newborns, danger signs in infants, vaccinations
Film 03: Breast feeding, weaning, family planning
Film 04: Nutrition for pregnant mothers and mothers of newborns, household hygiene
CLIENT - Malaria Doktors & Shoklo Malaria Research Unit / Oxford University / Mahidol University
BUDGET RANGE - US$15,000 +
DURATION - 4 x films, 20 - 30 mins
GENRE - Education
DIRECTED, SCRIPTED, FILMED & EDITED - Timothy Syrota
AUDIO RECORDING - Jack Chance, Simon D
Arguably the most significant films I have made, thanks to a well thought out project contrived and funded by the 'Malaria Doktors', Marcus and Machteld Rikten, who were then working for the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit (SMRU). These two doctors had raised funds for a series of four films which were to cover a range of topics on maternal health, ranging from danger signs to breast-feeding and nutrition and contraception. As part of their funding, Marcus and Machteld also bought and installed a number of televisions for SMRU's maternal health clinics along the border. With up to 80 parents having up to three hours wait between having malaria tests done and test results being available, the films had a captive audience for the duration of screening. The films were screened every day and were soon also being utilised in a similar fashion at Dr Cynthia's Clinic.
From a personal perspective, the guiding principle for the films was accessibility with an overall objective that any given parent / relative would walk away from viewing them remembering at least one key piece information. The films were produced with significant consideration to the background of viewers, many of whom were from rural or mountain villages, may have had little or no education and / or been illiterate, and would be familiar with traditional maternal health procedures. As such, repetition and simple messaging were key to the approach taken in the films. Similarly, production values and editing were kept simple so as not to present the films as anything too unfamiliar to the intended audience.
Almost a year in production, the films have been viewed by tens of thousands of parents and were used as an example of maternal health education in conferences as far flung as the Philippines and Uganda. To the best of my knowledge, the films are still being screened on a daily basis to hundreds of mothers.