3 Further modules
Why is there no medicine? – An explanation-strategy
During our campaign in the various villages and schools of the Akatsi-District we were often asked the same or at least similar questions by the audience. The special challenge was to answer these questions and to explain complicated medical facts to an audience with often limited knowledge and education.
Therefore we often had to simplify our explanations.
It seemed to be of special importance to us to concentrate on every question and explanation in a way that the audience could follow because otherwise there is always the danger of loosing the interest and attention of the audience.
By using one example we want to document our strategy while answering the questions.
Very often we were asked "why there are no drugs to heal HIV/AIDS?"
At the beginning of our campaign we limited our answer to the fact that scientists all over the world are trying hard to find a medicine that cures HIV/AIDS. Furthermore we explained that they haven´t succeeded yet because the HI-Virus is very "intelligent" and develops and changes quicker than scientists can follow. We explained as well, that the HI-Virus has only be known for the past 25 years and showed with the example of Tuberculosis that people sometimes suffer for centuries from an illness before a medication is found.
Due to the many inquiries we realized that we had to be more precise, because many Ghanaians think that HIV was developed by "the whites" to kill "the blacks" and therefore they won’t ever get the medication against it.
We then started to explain the problem of the frequently changing proteins on the cover of the virus by drawing in the soil or on a black board or on a piece of plywood.
First we drew a circle as a symbol of the HI-Virus that was surrounded by a second circle, the cover of the virus (respectively the "face" or appearance of the virus to make it understandable for the people).
Close to the cover we drew the symbolic drug that is developed by the scientists. Meanwhile we explained that before the scientist can finish such a drug, the virus has already changed its face because of its great intelligence. This we demonstrated by drawing another circle with a new cover. Close to the new cover we drew the "old drug" which still was developing. Thus we demonstrated that the drug doesn’t fit to the "new face" of the virus anymore.
By using a third circle with again a different cover and another drug symbol we explained that this process is repeating with high speed again and again and that this is the reason why it is so difficult for the scientists to find a drug against HIV.
Of course our explanation is an inadmissible simplification of the actual process. However by using the visualisation it was much easier for the audience to understand the facts and to believe us.
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