Leaflets: Trachoma Health Education Materials Library
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This Ethiopian poster, for example, promotes the SAFE strategy. Its companion leaflet (below) is distributed to outline the four elements of SAFE. The two materials were used as part of a multifaceted health education campaign.
Leaflets, also known as brochures, handouts, or pamphlets, are designed to provide specific information on a health topic. Whereas a poster is designed to convey one central message, a leaflet goes into more detail.
Leaflets are user-oriented allowing the user to control his or her exposure to the material. Leaflets are distributed to people to use as a reference thus allowing them to determine when and where they study the information.
Designing a Leaflet
Leaflet text should include vocabulary that is easily understood by the target audience. New ideas should be introduced using clear, simple language. Use the written language and standard type styles of the region or cultural group.
When creating a leaflet, consider the layout. Will the handout have text printed on the front and back sides? Will it be folded into thirds? If folded, consider the progression of images as it is unfolded. Print materials with a typeset that is large and easy to read.
To create a well-organized leaflet, make an outline for the information. Unlike posters, brochures contain multiple messages and technical ideas that need to be organized in a logical fashion. An easy way to create an outline for a leaflet is to consider possible questions the target audience might ask to learn more:
- What is the problem?
- What is the magnitude of the problem?
- What does one need to know about it?
- Who does it affect?
- How can the problem be solved?
- Why should one want to change his or her behavior?
- What can people do to prevent the problem or protect themselves?
- What will happen if the problem is not solved?
- Are there resources available to help? Where can they be found?
- Where can more information be found?
Photographs and illustrations used in the leaflet should be of a good quality and easy to understand.
This leaflet from Ghana uses the following outline:
- What is active trachoma?
- How is active trachoma transmitted?
- How can I prevent active trachoma?
- How can I treat active trachoma?
- What is trichiasis?
- How can I treat trichiasis?
To pre-test a leaflet, make many copies of the material. Distribute the copies to a sample group of the target audience. Ask participants to read and analyze the information. Explain to them that someone will return the following day to ask questions about the material. The test audience should have a range of different literacy levels. If the images and illustrations in the leaflet are clear, low-literate readers should still be able to find the leaflet useful.
Possible questions to ask the test participants about the text:
Possible questions to ask the test participants about the images:
- Did the design make you want to read it?
- Did you read the material or did someone read it to you?
- What words did you not understand? (When the audience identifies words they don't know, describe the meaning you are trying to convey, and then ask them what word they would use instead.)
- Ask specific questions about all the messages in the leaflet. Explore the possibilities of using local expressions and vocabulary to explain the same ideas.
- Test the comprehension of each key message. For example, to test this brochure (below), ask the following questions:
- Can you describe this image in your own words?
- What do you think this image represents?
Which aspects of these images are familiar? Which images are not?
- Do you think these images are culturally appropriate? How would you represent this topic?
The photos in this Malian leaflet clearly depict trachoma. A person who could not read French would still understand the general topic without reading the text.
View the Health Education Materials Tutorial to learn more about the design and development of health education materials.
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