Working International

The work and process of working with international groups

  On my case studies page, I cover the work I have done with the group HealthCare Tends with Dr. Azeez Butali, and their project “Help My Pikin”.  I was very lucky to experience creating something for a different cultural group that had a need that traditional methods of communication were failing while I was working with Dr. Butali.   In Nigeria, about 2,300 children under the age of 5 die every day and a lot of these deaths are very preventable with vaccinations and hospital follow-ups.  In the United States these practices are very common, so the question asked is why aren’t these practices applied in Nigeria?   HealthCare Trends found not only health literacy was low, but so was language literacy, especially with the mothers. Education is not as available to youth in Nigeria, particularly for young girls.  This negatively impacts the community by not having the ability to share information with traditional forms of communication such as brochures and other printed reading material.  HealthCare Trends saw this and started working on a solution. Help My Pikin was born.

polio vaccine
Image of oral vaccination such as the polio vaccine.

The first issue was vaccines.

  Help My Pikin developed and began implementing a scheduled reminder that would notify new mothers, on their mobile phones, that their babies were due for a vaccination.  This increase the number of vaccinated babies, but there was still a need to educate.  Help My Pikin wanted to make sure mothers knew why the vaccines were important.  While in the community, many concerning practices were observed. There was little education about proper breastfeeding, the importance of hand washing, and how to clean the fresh umbilical cut.  As babies become toddlers, there was also a concern about nutrition and how to introduce new foods to baby.  Lastly, they wanted to cover some warnings signs that should send the family directly to a hospital or clinic. There were many other concerning practices observed while in the community. There was little education about proper breastfeeding, the importance of hand washing, and how to clean the umbilical cord stump.  As babies become toddlers, there was also a concern about nutrition and how to introduce new foods to baby.  Lastly, they wanted to cover some warnings signs that should send the family directly to a hospital or clinic.   Previous groups had tried to use print information and there was little success, so…

HealthCare Trends had to find a tailored solution for this community.

  Dr. Butali approached me at a Rotary meeting and asked me about my career and it’s applications.  He had an idea to use animations on preloaded tablets to visually communicate these concepts and ideas.  I was very excited about this and this was my first project on an international level! I had a lot of ideas on how to help.  When I first met with Dr. Butali, he was extremely helpful with information about what HealthCare Trends had previously done, how it was received, what their goals were, what the concerns were, and where things were at as of that moment. It was very apparent that I had to make sure the

chlorhexidine
Application of chlorhexidine to umbilical cord stump.

work I was doing was not only informative but also relatable for the people that were going to be watching my animations.  The people in the animations had to look like the people watching them and I had to make sure the content was relevant to the people watching down to food examples and warnings.  In the end, I was very proud of the work Dr. Butali and I created together.  

The outcome.

After the animations were created and had their different voiceovers, I was excited to see the final product!  Dr. Butali went to Nigeria and piloted the new communication tools.  They were well received!  After Dr. Butali’s visit, I followed up and was glad to hear that the presentation rooms were packed full and the products were starting to have a real impact!   This was one of my first international projects, but I am excited to see what the results will be after three years, five years, and ten years.  I named my company LEGACY because of this very reason, to help a plan come to fruition for the creator and help them build their legacy, but also the legacy created by the lives saved and bettered.   For additional information about Help My Pikin, click here and see how you can help.  A big thank you to Dr. Azeez Butali and HealthCare Trends for allowing me to work with them, but also for the impact you are making and the lives you are changing. Curious and want to stay informed? Follow Help My Pikin’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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11 thoughts on “Working International”

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