Ebola Mobile Response Unit
(Guinea)

The 20 radio variety shows are produced as single standing drama and not as serial drama. This different approach allows us to produce and broadcast local shows in various hotspots that also air nationally in French.

The drama takes place in a Guinean community named Kala that faces rumors and other challenges in order to overcome Ebola. The chief of the community, Katala, is often negatively influenced by his friend and advisor Abu who does not trust the official recommendations on preventing Ebola. At one point this friendship becomes dangerous for Katala when Abu discourages him from seeking medical help after developing a high fever, headache and fatigue. Bontouraby, a nurse and the daughter of the Imam Elhadji, wants to protect her community from spreading the virus. Together with her friend Salifou she has a lot to do when dispelling rumors, advocating for safe burials and providing support to contacts.

The Ebola Mobile Response Unit produces radio variety shows in the most critical Ebola hotspots across Guinea to dispel rumors, prevent new Ebola cases and reintegrate survivors. The shows contain locally tailored key messages and are produced in a mobile production unit with local talent in local languages. PCI Media Impact developed this local approach based on #ISurvivedEbola lessons learned, realizing that centrally produced messages are often mistrusted and rejected in Guinea.

A total of 20 radio variety shows are produced in hotspots such as Ratoma and Forecariah in local languages. A variety show contains of an Entertainment-Education drama, comedy skits, music, interviews with key stakeholders and interactive call-in sessions with the target audience. During a celebratory launch event the shows are going the first time on air in each hotspot inviting community members and change makers. The variety shows are also produced in French and broadcast on the national radio station R.T.G.

This publication was supported by the Cooperative Agreement Number 1U19GH001590-01, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.


CDC

In it’s first season the radio drama Tu Seras Vaincu elicited a large audience by using a popular radio network: Espace FM. The program achieved their goal of raising awareness about the disease, expelling rumors, spreading preventative practices, and promoting community dialogue. Broadcasting for only 20 episodes in French and Sousou, listeners expressed a desire for additional languages and episodes in future seasons.

Guineans shared that by listening to the characters in the drama learn about Ebola, they in turn developed an increased knowledge of the disease and how to decrease the spread of Ebola. The show raised community dialogue in various settings. Younger audience members stated they listened to and discussed the show with friends and neighbors while out having tea. Older audience members shared discussions with family members and neighbors on their way to the markets, or before and after prayer at the mosque.

The call in show featured experts working to eradicate Ebola such as emergency room doctors, pharmacists, and Red Cross employees. However, Guineans hope in the next seasons to hear from Ebola survivors. Listeners were very interested in hearing their stories including details about how they contracted the disease and how they were treated and reunited with their families and communities. Additionally, due to recommendations from listeners, future programs will increase time for the call-in show, implement text messaging, encourage advertising during radio shows, and organize Radio Listening Groups to facilitate community discussion and participation.

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