Preventing Hemorrhage Saving Lives: Tapping the Power of Narrative

The University of Chicago
Organization Location: 
Chicago, IL USA

We propose a simple, flexible multimedia intervention delivered via social networks to empower a rural Nigerian community to learn about and gain access to an inexpensive lifesaving intervention for the prevention of postpartum hemorrhage: misoprostol. We will create a “simple illustrated video”, an illustrated story with narrative and music, to be delivered and shared by mobile phone or via a laminated "flipbook" based on the documentary The Edge of Joy which tells the story of postpartum hemorrhage from the perspective of Nigerian women, men and healthcare providers. We will commission the popular musician Yinka Ayefele to compose music that can be downloaded via mobile phone or on radio and encourage widespread sharing. This project will draw on the power of music and of narrative to inspire people to change behaviors. Almost 15,000 Nigerian women die of hemorrhage each year. In 2006 the Nigerian government approved the use of misoprostol for postpartum hemorrhage. This pilot study will demonstrate the feasibility of stemming high rates of maternal mortality in Nigeria by creating a compelling campaign to generate demand and “know how” for safe births. The new demand will be supplied by bolstering the availability of misoprostol at the community and primary health care levels. A strong commitment from the Universities of Ibadan and Chicago and The Nigerian Ministry of Health will ensure the success and sustainability of this project.