Eastina – who has been a journalist for the past 10 years - uses her media experience to help deliver the message of Tawa Fo Welbodi in a way that makes people want to listen.
“People don’t like being told what to do but, if they think something will benefit them, they will definitely listen. With the show, you’re telling them what is good for them and giving them a solution. You can talk about things that affect them, but you should do it in a way they feel connected to. People in a normal place love to laugh, so if you bring in a comedian to talk about malaria, they will get the message and it will sink in, and that’s how we did it.”
And the message is working. Eastina added: “Halfway through recording the programmes, we started to get testimonies from people, we have met lots of people who say, “because of your programme, I’m sleeping under a treated mosquito net”. For me, those are the highlight moments that speak volumes about the fact that our work is really reaching out to people and saving lives.”
Right now, half the world is at risk from malaria, which is both preventable and treatable. There were more than 200 million new cases of the disease in 2018, and a child still dies from malaria every two minutes.
Beating the disease is a challenge and needs teamwork. Comic Relief and GSK are working together with communities in some of the most affected areas in the world, equipping them with the vital knowledge they need to prevent and treat malaria, giving children the chance to reach their full potential and communities the opportunity to thrive.
Tawa Fo Welbodi – which launched in 2018 - can now be heard on more than 50 radio stations across Sierra Leone and audience panel research has found that listeners’ knowledge of malaria, and confidence in knowing what to do if suspect they or their family has malaria, is increasing.