The Show Must Go On!
The show must go on! On 12th November, unseasonal rains visited our Capacity Building and Health Education Program’s (CBHEP) outreach Dramatic Theatre performance in rural Siem Reap Province. However, the rain did not dampen the festive atmosphere at the Spean Thnot Pagoda where people from nearby villages came to enjoy the colourful and informative Dramatic Theatre.
The mission of Angkor Hospital for Children’s CBHEP team is to build the capacity of local communities to reduce preventable illnesses and reduce maternal and child mortality rates. One of the methods our CBHEP team uses to engage villagers in health education is through dramatic performances. Through dance, songs and plays the team educate people from rural areas about general health topics such as warning signs for respiratory infections, resources for antenatal care and the importance of good nutrition and hygiene. Most people living in rural areas do not have access to modern health education, and high rates of illiteracy makes more traditional forms of health education challenging.
People of all ages came from miles around on all types of transport, including tuk tuks, motorbikes, bicycles and cow-pulled carts, to see the show. While the performance was full of laughter and colour, it delivered important messages about antenatal care and childhood respiratory infections. CBHEP also had an information stall for people interested in learning more about other health topics such as diarrhea and malaria prevention and management. In addition to the informative drama and stall, many local people took advantage of the large crowds and set up their own stalls to sell food and toys.
The drama theatre is a very successful way of communicating directly with villagers on important health matters. Families sat together, laughed at the show and competed for prizes during informational quizzes. It was a very enjoyable night for all, and again showed that creativity and innovation can lead to amazing advances in health education.