For many people, public health seems to be an esoteric topic that falls under the responsibility of government officials and scientists. However, public health issues today, such as Ebola and Zika prevention, and campaigns against obesity, drug overdose and antibiotic misuse, require the full participation of entire populations and not just a small segment of them. From Passing in Review’s public announcement on blood bank donations in April 1946 to Joe Biden’s powerful address on the Cancer Moonshot at Rice just a month ago, all effective public health campaigns are tied together under the common theme of unity in participation. My question is: how does a public health entity craft a campaign that is able to incorporate as many people as possible into participating in important and urgent public health issues?
I believe the best way to answer this question is by producing a teaching module geared towards public health leaders of various campaigns that have not been able to reach a large portion of the population. From my group’s analysis of our archive from 1946, we decided that the strengths of the public announcement included a hospitable description of the environment, a didactic and supportive tone, and inclusivity with regards towards women donors. Also, the public announcement included an authority figure in Dr. E. W. Bertner, the acting director of M.D. Anderson Hospital and the first president of the Texas Medical Center, giving an informative talk on the history of the Texas Medical Center and on the importance of cancer clinics. (archive.org) However, one weakness may be that the first part of the recording is overly formal and seems staged, and should be more candid. Our group will have to do research on the effectiveness of the radio broadcast by assessing blood bank engagement after the announcement from various demographic criteria such as race, sexual orientation, age, and socioeconomic status.
Surely, most people have been affected, or at least heard of cancer, but what about roundworm, river blindness, or elephantiasis? These are three of the seven Neglected Tropical Diseases that one in six people in that world are diagnosed with, and require public attention and participation. (END7) My proposal is to create a website on general guidelines for designing public health campaigns, and an exemplary video created by our group on the 7 Neglected Tropical Diseases that incorporates all of the guidelines.
An effective public health campaign should keep everyone updated and informed on pressing aspects of the issue, provide simple yet powerful ways for ordinary citizens to get involved, and should not discriminate or favor one particular segment of the population. This project has the potential to help public health officials in incorporating entire populations in various public health movements, which would be critical in alleviating future international health issues and crises.
“Why NTDs? Help End 7 Diseases and Lessen Suffering for over ½ a Billion Kids in the Developing World” End7. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.
“Passing in Review, M. D. Anderson Hospital Blood Bank, 1946 : Texas Medical Center Library : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive.” Internet Archive. Archive.org, n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.
“Core Strengths – Epidemiology.” Pacific Health Research and Education Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.
Yeatts, Karin, Dr., and Lorraine Alexander, Dr. “Epidemiology: The Basic Science of Public Health.” Coursera. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.