Music, Drama and Fine Art Utilisation

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Music, Drama and Fine Art Utilisation: An Innovative Method for Mycetoma Health Promotion and Advocacy

Background
Mycetoma is one of the badly neglected tropical diseases, characterised by painless subcutaneous mass that forms multiple sinuses which usually produce purulent discharge and grains. This localised chronic granulomatous inflammatory disease if untreated early and appropriately can spread to affect the deep structures and bone producing massive damage, deformities and disabilities. It can spread by the lymphatics and blood to produce distant secondary satellites associated with high morbidity and can be fatal. Still, there is massive knowledge gap in mycetoma epidemiology and hence the lack of objective and effective control and preventive programmes. Currently, the available disease control method is early case detection and proper management. However, the majority of patients present late with immense disease and for many of them, heroic substantial deforming surgical excisions or amputation are the only prevailing treatment options. Mycetoma has many negative impacts on patients, families and community in endemic regions.

For early case detection and proper management to be achieved, sound patients’ health education and awareness are mandatory. Aimed at that, the Mycetoma Research Centre (MRC) WHO Collaborating Centre on Mycetoma has nominated Mr. Asim EL Bana, a celebrity star in Sudan as a Mycetoma Awareness and Advocacy Ambassador. He established a mycetoma awareness and advocacy group named “We Are With You”. The group encompassed more than 40 famous Sudanese celebrities including musicians, writers, poets, actors, radio and TV stars and journalists. The group aims at awerness raising and health education for early mycetoma case detection and management. The Group had organised many activities that included several media interviews on many TV and radio stations as well as the press. The group members has many posts on various Facebook pages.

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“We are with you” group first activity was on the 7th of August 2017 in the patients’ waiting hall of the Mycetoma Research Centre (MRC) at in Soba University Hospital. The group recited poems and sang songs with patients and their co-patients, between cheers and tears from the audience,

Mr. Asim Al Bana, the Mycetoma Ambassdor, had announced that the group will support patients not only by awareness messages through media, frequent visits to the centre and social mobilization, but they will also visit the endemic areas combined with the clinical intervention, as well as contribute financially through their concerts.

the group promised the patients to support them and the centre to eradicate Mycetoma.
The patients expressed their happiness and thanks for such initiatives. The waiting area was overflowing with joy and happaniess. Nurses, patients, doctors, and health workers all shared the space; they stood up and they sang together with popular stars. Mrs Norma Kafori, one of the Mycetoma Ambassadors had also attended the event.

Recently, the group organised a campaign and festival for mycetoma advocacy at Sennar State; 300 KM from Khartoum, one of the highly endemic mycetoma regions. The campaign was organised in October 10, 2017; starting from Khartoum, the Sudan capacity. On the way to Sennar, the campaign stopped at four big cities: Alkamleen (60KM), Alhasahisa (137KM), Rufa’a(154 KM) and Wad Medani (187 km). (Map)

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Along the journey to Sennar State, the MRC staff had discussed with the campaign members the pathogenesis, transmission, clinical presentation, investigations, treatment of mycetoma likewise the possible means to reduce its adverse effects. They also made emphasis on the main facts on mycetoma that need to be clearly communicated to the people during the campaign.
The campaign was well supported by the senior government officials at Sennar and AL Gazeria States. At the northern border of AL Gazeria State, HE the State Minister of Culture and Information and her senior assistants had received the campaign and accompanied it till the southern border of the State.
In each city, the campaign was well saluted and its work was acknowledged by local governate officials, and community leaders and activists. All of them stressed on the important and vital role of music, poetry, art and media on the mycetoma advocacy and health education for early case detection and management. The campaign members addressed the crowds of people on various aspects of mycetoma with great emphasis on the disease transmission, its complications, the need to use of protective clothes, shoes and gloves during farming, the importance of early presentation for diagnosis, treatment and follow up to avoid the serious mycetoma complications. That was followed by singing, drama show and traditional Sudanese dance that was highly appreciated by the local people.

The campaign was hosted by AL Gazeria Television at Wad Madani. An interview with a group of the campaign members and the State Minister of Culture and Information was conducted. During the interview, the role of Sudanese singers and artists in health education with great emphasis on mycetoma was highlighted.

At Sennar State, the campaign was welcomed by HE the State Governor and his Cabinet, community leaders and activists in addition to several traditional dance bands. Then the campaign marched to the City Cultural Centre where it was greeted by more than 10.000 audience. All the campaign members addressed the audience, stressed the importance of avoiding contracting mycetoma, encouraging early presentation to medical care facilities and management compliance. Every member made a valuable contribution in a form of songs, poetry, drama and speeches. The audience were full of joy and happiness, and the show ended late in the evening.

The use of music, fine art and drama for mycetoma and other medical problems advocacy, health promotion and to disseminate health messages to thousands of audience was the first of its kind in the Sudan. This had postive impacts on mycetoma awareness and advocacy.

 

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Acknowledgement:
The MRC staff would like to acknowledge the great support and encouragement for all those who had enabled MRC to execute its objectives with special thanks for following who kindly supported the mycetoma campign to Sennar State:
1- “We Are With You” Group
2- The Sennar State Government
3- Ministry of Health, Sennar State
4- Ministry of Health, AL Gazira State
5- Ministry of Culture and information, Al Gazira State
6- The local officials in the visited towns
7- Wad Medani, Sennar, Sudan, Omdurman, Blue Nile and EL Shoroog Television Channels.



The Campaign Team:
Mr. Asim Elbana Mycetoma Ambassador
Prof. Ahmed Hassan Fahal MRC, Director
Dr. EL Sammani Wadaella MRC, Consultant surgeon
Dr. Dani Mohamed MRC, Research Assistant
Dr. Mohamed Nasr Elsheikh MRC, Research Assistant
Dr. Rafa Mohamed Community Physician
Mr. Abdelaziz Elmobark Singer
Mr. Eisam Mohamed Singer
Mr. Mohamed Abdelsalam Singer
Miss. Doria Monir Singer
Miss. Ansam Ali writer
Mr. Salah Eldeen Mohamed Singer
Mr. Alaa eldeen Musa Singer
Mr. Murtada hassen Singer
Mr. Aymen Omer Singer
Mr. Suliman Abu Alama Singer
Mr. Mohamed Elmahdi Singer
Mr. Haythem Abd Elmonim Singer
Mr. Baha Eldeen Abdalla Singer
Mr. Emad Nasr Eldeen Singer
Mr. Ahmed Sirg Singer
Miss. Huda Arabi Singer
Mr. Salama Mohamed Singer
Mr. Muhab Othman Singer
Miss. Afrah Eisam Singer
Mr. Adam Mohamed Singer
Mr. Mohamed Elgaily poet
Mr.Tarig Kabalo Journalist
Mrs Dalia Elias Journalist and Writer
Miss. Hoyam Saif Eldeen Journalist
Miss. Namarig Mohamed Journalist
Miss. Maysa Algadi Journalist
Mr. Gamal Hassan Saad Comedian
Mr. Zakir saed Comedian
Mr. Fakhri Khalid Comedian
Mr. Yassir Adam MRC, Photographer
Mr. Amir Faroug MRC, Coordinator