Become a “Got It? Get It.” brand amdassabor

The Got it? Get it safe sex campaign is looking for passionate individuals to join their team as brand ambassadors.

Developed by PSI/Caribbean, the Got it? Get it campaign is a powerful, youth oriented, Caribbean-flavoured branded campaign that has the ultimate goal of empowering Caribbean youth to take responsibility for their sexual health.

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Videos from 2011 Caribbean HIV Conference – Sheryl Lee Ralph ‘Sometimes I Cry’

For those of us who were unable to make last years’ Caribbean HIV Conference, the organizers have placed videos of the conference on Youtube. You can video the majority of the conference, from the opening Flag ceremony to the closing remarks.

In the video below, actress/AIDS activist Sheryl Lee Ralph gives a powerful performance of her one-woman show “Sometimes I Cry“, which details the lives, loves and losses of women infected and affected by HIV and AIDS.

Communications for change: How to use text messaging as an effective behavior change campaigning tool

Produced by FrontlineSMS and Text to Change – February 2012

Available online at: http://bit.ly/GFFUR0 

SMS can be an extremely effective campaigning tool, helping to drive positive social change by increasing awareness of key issues and giving people the information they need to take their well- being into their own hands. SMS is ideal for these types of campaigns in many ways: it is immediate and intimate, coming straight to a device you carry with you most of the time. It works even in places where other digital communications channels fail; and, if received at the right time, it can provide an incredibly meaningful intervention. 

SMS can also be sent to many people at once, using aggregators and other service providers

However, getting SMS campaigns right is not simple. The right content, delivered at the right time in the right context, is critical. Adding the right kind of interaction to campaigns can make them more engaging, and increase their power in encouraging positive change. 

Case Study: http://bit.ly/GFG77h –FrontlineSMS and Georgetown University’s Institute for Reproductive Health

FrontlineSMS, an open source software for sending and receiving SMS (short message service), to provide a rapid prototype of a new mHealth service.

This service — called CycleTel™ — empowers women by providing them with accessible reproductive health information through SMS. CycleTel facilitates the use of the Standard Days Method® (SDM) of family planning, which is a simple fertility awareness-based method of family planning that teaches a woman to identify her fertile days each menstrual cycle and avoid unprotected sex on these days to prevent pregnancy.

By making this fertility information accessible via SMS, CycleTel helps women take charge of their reproductive health and use an effective family planning method. 

Text to Change
Text to Change sets up interactive SMS campaigns, together with NGOs and companies, focused on improving healthcare and education, stimulating economic development and creating awareness on environmental issues. Moreover, all basic phones are able to receive SMS.
To overcome the illiteracy barriers they make use of Interactive Voice Response services (IVR) as well.

• Text to Change: www.texttochange.com

• FrontlineSMS: www.frontlinesms.com 

Assessing the mobile environment:

Factors affecting the suitability of SMS and mobile for communicating with disaster-affected communities
http://bit.ly/GNPaAS 

 KMC/2012/ehealth
Twitter http://twitter.com/eqpaho

Video

How to participate in the UNAIDS CrowdOutAIDS strategy drafting!

As we discussed before in our earlier posts, we all have the opportunity to participate in the development  of the UNAIDS Crowdsourcing strategy. This short video explains how. Perhaps a good question to ask though is why? Why should I spend the time to make a contribution?

Here are some reasons:

1. Only you know the experience you have and what you think should be done to improve the situation. Whether you work for a non profit or the government (or wherever), your insight might be valuable and actually make a difference.

2. You might learn something from others by participating in the chat.

3. You can make contact with other participants from around the world.

4. You can ensure that the unique issues the Caribbean faces are addressed.

5. You can learn how to use a new collaborative tool (Google docs) you may have never used before.

6. Show Andre Robb, the Caribbean representative on the drafting committee some support!

Can you think of any more reasons?

Please visit http://www.crowdoutaids.org/wordpress/ to view the calendar and find out about the next live drafting sessions. Let’s make sure the Caribbean is well represented!

Can regulating our airwaves help lower NCD rates?

Coutesy of blogs.worldbank.org

The carnival season just ended for many islands  (and is beginning for others) and one of the things that struck me while listening to radio stations from Dominica is the number of advertisements for businesses pushing high-saturated fat foods and alcoholic drinks. Now, I have to say that these ads are not just a carnival phenomenon. In fact, I think they’ve become quite prevalent on our airwaves. For example, one show might be sponsored by a large distributor of alcoholic beverages. Usually within such shows, the hosts painstakingly tells listeners to ‘drink safely’ and ‘don’t drink and drive’. What I noticed about these messages is that they are often said in somber tones while the music pumps up for a lively discussion of how such and such drink is the best to have while out and about. In regards to the food ads with high-fat content, they are often lauded as quick meals to have on-the-go. Grab a pizza! Get yourself some tasty fired chicken!

These commercials reminded me of a fabulous blog I read a few months ago titled “Is fried chicken setting back development in the Caribbean?” In the write-up, Carmen and Shiyan discuss how, in trying to decide what to eat for lunch (fried chicken because it’s ubiquitous, low-cost and fast), they realized the irony of working on addressing non-communicable diseases in the region and having to swallow their guilt and eat the fried chicken for lunch.

Carmen and Shiyan write:

“This simple encounter brought to light the challenges countries and individuals face in addressing NCDs which as a group represent the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide –two-thirds of global deaths are the result of chronic diseases. In the Caribbean, the burden of NCDs has escalated to the point that five times as many people are dying from chronic diseases than from all other illnesses combined.”

As we in the region and organizations around the world fight to change the course of the burden of NCDs, we have to start thinking of what role, if any, does advertising play in our food and alcohol consumption choices? Are there any regional or national policies that regulate what companies can advertise and at what times? The regulation of food, alcohol ( and tobacco) is never an easy task. But, research shows that local and global policies developed to regular tobacco sales and use has had the greatest impact on lowering smoking rates. If anyone has examples of laws and policies from the region that address these issues, we at CaribbeanHealth.org would love to know about them.