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Title: Engaging ethnic minority communities through performance and arts: health education in Cambodian forest villages
Authors: James J. Callery
Nou Sanann
Rupam Tripura
Thoek Buntau
Thomas J. Peto
Pich Kunthea
Christopher Pell
Ung Soviet
Chea Nguon
Dysoley Lek
Phaik Yeong Cheah
Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University
University Research Co., LLC
Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development
National Institute of Public Health Cambodia
Nuffield Department of Medicine
Universiteit van Amsterdam
Provincial Health Department of Stung Treng Province
National Center for Parasitology
Keywords: Medicine
Issue Date: 24-Feb-2021
Citation: International health. Vol.13, No.2 (2021), 188-195
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In Siem Pang, northeastern Cambodia, malaria transmission persists in remote forested areas populated by ethnic minorities. Engaging affected communities in health education campaigns is challenging due to language, access and literacy constraints. During 2018, a newly established medical research station conducted a health education programme in local villages harnessing traditional songs, arts and crafts, along with theatre, comedy and health talks and quizzes. Health education topics were proposed by community leaders and focused on maternal and child health and malaria. This article describes a process evaluation of these activities, the community's response and whether this was an appropriate form of health education in this context. METHODS: In-depth interviews were conducted with community members, leaders and performers. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and translated to English for thematic analysis. RESULTS: In total, 65 interviews were conducted; 20 of these were follow-up interviews with respondents interviewed prior to the performances. Respondents were able to recall the key health messages about malaria, antenatal care and infant vaccination. They also showed good awareness of malaria transmission and prevention and described how they enjoyed the events and appreciated the efforts of the project team. CONCLUSIONS: In isolated communities in Cambodia, a health education programme harnessing performance and arts engaged the whole community and its messages were readily recalled and prompted reflection.
ISSN: 18763405
Appears in Collections:Scopus 2021

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