Malaria Film Development: Update

Exciting that No Strings International’s new malaria film is in its script-writing stage, a creative though time-consuming back-and-forth process between our writing team and experts on the ground.

Currently, senior committee advisors in South Sudan are considering how the new draft script tackles the key messages they have identified as most crucial.

The film’s main aim will be to positively influence decision making and practices in three core behaviour areas: consistent use of insecticide-treated bed nets, urgent treatment-seeking for young children presenting with fever, and preventative health care for pregnant women.

The target audience is thus care-givers and heads of households, while for children there’s a lighter focus on awareness development, with a puppet mother mosquito and brood showing what causes malaria and how mosquitoes breed as they prey on a group of villagers.

We’ll post a more rounded synopsis of the film once the storyline is confirmed.

Malaria has been called the greatest killer disease in human history and is the leading cause of death in South Sudan, a country with one of the highest malaria burdens in the world.

While access to control tools in South Sudan have increased considerably over the last decade – net ownership was at 66% of all households in 2013, compared to 12% in 2006 according to the Ministry of Health – huge challenges remain, with low use of insecticide-treated nets, coupled with uncertain knowledge levels around further prevention and treatment areas, underpinning the continued high malaria prevalence.

As we move forward with the production process, our aim will be to create a film that supports social and behaviour change interventions both in South Sudan and the wider sub-Saharan African region. The challenge will be to create an immediately-familiar though appropriately-generic film setting that can be dubbed into a range of local languages.