BACKGROUND: With more than two billion people infected worldwide, soil-transmitted helminths (STH) are the most widespread infections. To date, STH control efforts rely predominantly on recurrent mass drug administration (MDA), which does not prevent reinfection. Additional public health measures including novel health educational tools are required for more sustained integrated control of STH. We describe the development of an educational cartoon video (The Magic Glasses) targeting STH infections in Chinese schoolchildren and its pilot testing in China.We applied an extensive community-based mixed methods approach involving input from the target group of 9-10 year old schoolchildren and key informants, such as teachers, doctors and parents, in order to identify potential STH infection risks in the study area and to formulate key messages for the cartoon. The development of the educational cartoon included three major steps: formative research, production, and pilot testing and revision. RESULTS: We found that most adults and approximately 50% of the schoolchildren were aware of roundworm (Ascaris) infection, but knowledge of transmission, prevention and treatment of STH was poor. Observations in the study area showed that unhygienic food practices, such as eating raw and unwashed fruit or playing in vegetable gardens previously fertilised with human faeces, posed major STH infection risks. CONCLUSIONS: It was crucial to assess the intellectual, emotional, social and cultural background of the target population prior to video production in order to integrate the key messages of the cartoon into everyday situations. Overall, our strategy for the development of the cartoon and its incorporation into a health education package proved successful, and we provide a summary of recommendations for the development of future educational videos based on our experiences in China.
Bieri, F. A., Yuan, L. P., Li, Y. S., He, Y. K., Bedford, A., Li, R. S., … Gray, D. J. (2013). Development of an educational cartoon to prevent worm infections in chinese schoolchildren. Infectious Diseases of Poverty, 2(1), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1186/2049-9957-2-29