A Spotlight on Global Health Media Project

TELL US ABOUT GLOBAL HEALTH MEDIA PROJECT AND YOUR CONNECTION TO SELF-CARE. 

Global Health Media logoGlobal Health Media Project (GHMP) is a small Vermont-based nonprofit. We create high-quality teaching videos to help health workers and community members, especially in low-resource settings, learn information and skills that can improve health care and save lives. GHMP has created over 200 unique live-action videos covering topics such as newborn care, childbirth, breastfeeding, nutrition, and family planning. For each subject area, a series of videos is created for health workers and a companion set for the general public. The 50 videos for the general public support self-care.

HOW DOES GHMP INCORPORATE SELF-CARE INTO ITS WORK? 

Videos for the general public, that help them care for themselves and their families, are a critical part of our mission to improve health outcomes and save lives around the globe. Self-care plays a particularly important role when access to health providers is limited, due to location, distance, or closures of facilities (such as during the Covid pandemic). Some examples from our work include: i) a video on warning signs in newborns. This video shows actual newborns with the various warning signs that mean a baby has severe illness. It helps mothers and caregivers recognize these key signs to bring their baby for care in time to save their life; ii) our breastfeeding series helps show new mothers exactly how to breastfeed and what to do if they face problems in the crucial early days with their newborn; iii) videos on contraceptive methods such as Depo SubQ, which shows a woman giving herself the injection at home to demonstrate how to use the device.

GIVEN THAT GHMP’S VIDEOS ARE TARGETED TOWARD LOW-RESOURCE SETTINGS, HOW DOES YOUR ORGANIZATION ENSURE THEY ARE DISCOVERABLE BY HARD-TO-REACH POPULATIONS? 

All of our videos are available online. People in low-resource settings can view them on our website and YouTube at no charge if they have internet access. If people are located in more remote areas where the internet is not available, the videos can be shared or downloaded to their phones when they do have access so that they can be watched offline. Many organizations working with hard-to-reach populations bring our videos with them to teach, distribute to local facilities (schools and clinics), and share with local groups. Community health workers also use our videos to teach people in many hard-to-reach communities.

To improve access to our self-care videos, we created an app—Birth & Beyond—that includes our complete set of self-care videos in 30 languages. We developed and released this app during 2020. It enables people whose access to health care was limited by Covid be better able to care for themselves and their families. We have also created an app with our self-care videos on family planning for women and partners called Learn Family Planning. (A similar app called Practice Family Planning is available for health workers.)

HOW DOES GHMP MEASURE THE IMPACT AND REACH OF ITS VIDEOS? ARE THERE CERTAIN GEOGRAPHIC AREAS WHERE GHMP HAS HAD THE GREATEST SUCCESS, AND WHY? 

Viewership is one key way we measure reach:  views on YouTube now exceed 850 million, and have averaged 500,000 views per day over the past year. Every week our videos are watched in nearly every country in the world.

Video downloads are another key measure of our reach. Our videos have been downloaded by more than 7,000 organizations: UN groups, teaching institutions, Ministries of Health, and NGOs large and small. Many of these organizations use our videos in large international or national programs, with each program in turn reaching substantial numbers of health workers and people.

A third way we measure reach is through the demand for narrations in local languages. Our live-action videos have been narrated in over 50 languages. Narration requires significant time and resources and is often undertaken after an organization has established the value of our videos in training and education. Impact is more difficult to measure directly, but the fact that our films are the go-to teaching videos for many organizations in the field of maternal and child health is a strong endorsement of their value. They are used widely in programs by organizations such as WHO, MSF, UNICEF, Save the Children and by hospitals and universities in most countries.

GHMP videos are well-known and used worldwide. Although we design and develop our videos primarily for low-resource settings, many are used extensively in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. If we measure our success in terms of reach and viewership, the region that stands out is South Asia (India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan are among our top five countries) due to the combination of population, internet availability, and widespread use of smartphones.

THIS MONTH, WORLD CONTRACEPTION DAY WILL TAKE PLACE ON THE 26TH OF SEPTEMBER. HOW HAS GHMP WORKED SPECIFICALLY TO ADVANCE UPTAKE OF FAMILY PLANNING SERVICES IN KEY POPULATIONS? 

The premise of our work on family planning is that there is a large unmet need for practical and reliable information among young people, especially in low-resource settings. With trustworthy information that is easy to understand and follow, women and their partners are more likely to choose a method that suits their own needs and lifestyle choices. We utilize two key approaches to promote and encourage the use of our videos by key populations. One is to make our videos widely available and easily accessible through the internet and apps. A second is to identify and collaborate with organizations who are focused on the delivery of family planning information and services.

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