Moving beyond the academics, it was time to get serious about disseminating an outreach and extension message to the pastoralists in Ruaha. Feedback is an integral component of research projects, an often overlooked and underappreciated component lost in the bliss of publication, graduation, etc. From an ethical perspective, sharing research results with study participants, along with integrating any study findings into an outreach/education message to enhance awareness and promote discussion is not only necessary, but fun.
Finally, you can move beyond the technical entrapment of scientific language and do something a bit more creative. I chose comics. My study area is home to a large rural and pastoral population with a high rate of illiteracy. Targeting these households required an image intensive approach. Comics seemed an ideal medium. Combined with disease reports informing the pastoralists if protozoal pathogens were detected in their calf herds with a simple frowning or smiling cow, a short 2 page comic on herd and household protection from infection and risk of transmission was created using the software ComicLife by Plasq.
I’ll post the finished Swahili comic here post production. In the meantime, enjoy the English version [download a PDF via “Outreach Message(Reduced)]…
Feel free to contact me with any details on either the disease reports of comics.