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Trachoma Health Education Materials Library
Trachoma Health Education Materials Library

Storybooks 

 

School-based materials icon Click here to view the gallery of storybooks >

Nepalese students learn about Fulwa, a young girl who helps her aunt seek treatment for blinding trachoma.
Carter Center Photo
Nepalese students learn about Fulwa, a young girl who helps her aunt seek treatment for blinding trachoma.

Overview

Most school-based trachoma programs use storybooks in trachoma lessons. Students learn about the SAFE strategy through the characters in the stories. Usually these stories feature school children applying their trachoma lessons to everyday situations such as encouraging a family member to get trichiasis surgery or build a latrine.

 

These characters can be popular among students, and their stories help them remember their lessons on the SAFE strategy. Many characters are so popular with students that educators will create new stories for other lessons with the same characters. In order to ensure a wider audience and better comprehension, most trachoma programs develop storybooks in both the country's official language and in regional local languages.

Designing  Storybooks

Storybooks develop a subject through the dramatization of a situation. Unlike a flip chart, which relies on the facilitator to bring the characters to life, the storybook uses a plot to teach the health lessons. Since these books use detailed text to explain the story, students increase their reading comprehension levels as well as their vocabularies. 

To design a storybook, begin with the central health message. What should the student learn? As with any story, a storyline will need to be developed.
  • Introduction and Setting
  • Character Development
  • Problem Statement
  • Main Events
  • Resolution of the Problem
  • Conclusion
For example, this book from Nepal tells the story of a young boy who learns about trachoma from his grandmother.
The dialogue in this page teaches a lesson. Fulwa (at left) tells her cousin Rita (at right) not to touch her eyes with her hands because she will transmit her eye infection to others. The main lesson focuses on the effects of Rita's actions, which will ultimately lead to blindness. The dialogue in this page teaches a lesson. Fulwa (at left) tells her cousin Rita (at right) not to touch her eyes with her hands because she will transmit her eye infection to others. The main lesson focuses on the effects of Rita's actions, which will ultimately lead to blindness.
Many storybooks feature students as health educators to their families and friends. This encourages them to assume this role in real life. The story is followed by simple exercises and activities to bridge the lessons from the story to everyday life.

Remember to use culturally appropriate images and dialogue. Use pictures and illustrations that represent the local context, for example, homes, latrines, cattle pens, etc. should be recognizable. Young characters should be illustrated to look like the student population in the target audience. Pay attention to hair color and dress, for example.

 

Pre-Testing Storybooks

Ask the students to repeat the story in their own words after reading it and looking at the illustrations. Ask specific questions about the key health messages to verify that they understood the health messages. Have the student identify where the health messages are located in the story.
 
Have the students identify anything in the story that could be inappropriate or upsetting.  Ask them to explain why a particular part of the story could be offensive as this will help you avoid making these mistakes in the future. How would the student rewrite the story to make it appropriate? Which illustrations should be changed?
 
Are the characters in the story like the people they should represent? How can the characters or settings be changed? Do the characters communicate in a believable way?
 
Ask the student which behaviors the story encourages. Are they willing to do what the storybook suggests? If they respond negatively, ask them what aspects of the story discourage them from changing their behavior. Ask them if they know of any real-life situations that are similar to those presented in the story.

Nepalese students read about Kalu, a boy who teaches his family the importance of face-washing.

Nepalese students read about Kalu, a boy who teaches his family the importance of face-washing.

Carter Center Photo

View the Health Education Materials Tutorial to learn more about the design and development of health education materials.

 

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View Storybooks (Click blue link to view full documents in PDF)

Toilet Story Book cover Rabbit Story Book cover Stay Clean and Prevent Blindness Part I cover Stay Clean and Prevent Blindness Part II cover
Toilet Story Book Rabbit Story Book Stay Clean and Prevent Blindness Part I Stay Clean and Prevent Blindness Part II
Morocco
Arabic
Morocco
Arabic
Nepal
English
Nepal
English
 
Stay Clean and Prevent Blindness Part III cover Trachoma Story Book cover Vaincre le trachome au Burkina cover Moulaye et le trachome cover
Stay Clean and Prevent Blindness Part III Trachoma Story Book Vaincre le trachome au Burkina Moulaye et le trachome
Nepal
English
Nepal
Nepali
Burkina
French
Mali
French
 
Amharic Story Book cover Huong Dan Truyen cover Trachoma Prevention Book cover Le Talibe cover
Amharic Story Book Huong Dan Truyen Trachoma Prevention Book Le Talibe
Ethiopia
Amharic
Vietnam
Vietnamese
Ghana
English
Niger
French
 
Pendant la Recreation cover Au reveil cover La Fete Annuelle Chez les Animaux cover La Petit Sani cover
Pendant la Recreation Au reveil La Fete Annuelle Chez les Animaux La Petit Sani
Niger
French
Niger
French
Niger
French
Niger
French

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