Ebola Awareness Through Videos
Over the past months, the media has shown the devastating effects of the Ebola virus. As the virus started to spread massively, the public started to panic even more and this radically increased the media's attention to the matter. People are becoming more educated on where the virus came from, what its symptoms are and especially what to do to prevent infection. The attention the topic has received from the media has certainly made people more aware of the situation, but to what extent is this making any difference?
In the multi platform world we live in today, it is easy to find ourselves overwhelmed with so many ads and visuals that are desperately trying to grab our attention. This is why videos should be created in such a way that they are not just a vague repetition of what is being said in the media. People tend to ignore repetitive ads; what grabs the attention of the public are creative and innovative ideas. In the case of Ebola, we have seen how catastrophic the virus has been for people in the West region of Africa. We probably sympathise with the victims and wish there was something we could do about it, but all we keep hearing is how people keep dying and they haven't been able to find a cure. It is heart breaking to see these things in the media all the time, but what we should be asking ourselves is, what difference does this make? Are these videos changing the attitudes of individuals around the world?
In times of crisis, shouldn't we be focusing on what we can do to help, instead of vaguely repeating what is being said over and over on the media? Along with Ebola, there has been a lot of stigmatisation around the world toward people from Africa. The ones who have suffered this stigmatisation the most, of course, are those from the Ebola-infected countries (Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea). The discrimination has been such that a campaign has emerged titled "I Am a Liberian, Not A Virus". The campaign strikes to fight against the stigmatisation that West Africans, especially Liberians, have received. One of the women leading this campaign is Shoana Clarke Solomon, who relates in the video below how her daughter came back from school hurt because children were stigmatising her for being from Liberia, which has been the country most affected by Ebola.
It is our responsibility as global citizens to make sure that those who have been impacted by Ebola do not experience stigmatisation. They have been through enough. It is not their fault that their country and their people have been the ones impacted by this devastating virus. As the video points us, they didn't bring this upon themselves. The least we could do, apart from being informed, is support them and treat them as equal human beings.