The United States Government, through the U.S. Agency for international Development (USAID) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, is investing more than $16 million to meet the immediate COVID-19 health needs of Haitians today, while simultaneously working with the Haitian people to build long-term solutions to the chronic health challenges affecting the nation. Through the use of superheroes, comics, and television characters, USAID’s Project Santé, is leading a creative multi-media campaign with Haitian inspired characters to encourage children and their families to adopt COVID-19 prevention measures.
Using recognizable Haitian street, market and home scenes, the comics – spread as social media messages, brochures, and coloring pages – highlight the importance of wearing masks, social distancing, hand washing and staying home. The printed comics and coloring pages are being distributed to hundreds of school leaders and parent networks throughout Haiti. This is not merely a local effort. The comics are translated in English and Spanish. Additionally, other countries are utilizing their own funds to disseminate the comic books to the neighboring Dominican Republic as well as in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania in Africa.
U.S Ambassador to Haiti said: “We are excited to work with Project Santé and Haitian comic artist Thony Loui to continue U.S. investment in Haiti’s health sector and to combat COVID-19 with a dynamic messaging campaign.” USAID Haiti Mission Director, Christopher Cushing noted: “We are thrilled to be developing health messages for these campaigns that appeal to the youth featuring the Haitian superwoman Tanama” as well as have a young Haitian comic artist, Thony Loui, working with us to get COVID-19 health messages to the widest possible audience.”
Additionally, Project Santé has collaborated with Blue Butterfly and Lakou Kajou to create short, educational animations that are being circulated to families across Haiti. These entertaining animations are being disseminated via WhatsApp mass messaging systems as well as being streamed on local television and radio programming to reach hundreds of thousands of Haitians in both the capital and rural communities. Messages are aimed at not only prevention measures, but also at helping people recognize the dangers of stigmatization and false information.
Project Santé is a four-year cooperative partnership between USAID and the Caris Foundation International. This $98.5 million project funded by U.S. taxpayers focuses on providing technical support to 164 hospitals and medical clinics throughout all 10 geographic departments in Haiti. Project Santé has a holistic approach to providing integrated maternal and child healthcare and also has particular emphasis on immunizations, reproductive health, nutrition services and HIV care.
For more information about USAID’s Project Santé, please visit: https://www.santehaiti.com