Coronavirus (399) SAWBO COVID-19 Animation in 15 languages/accent variants and Building a WhatsApp Network to Share Educational Content (2)

10 April, 2020


I think these animations suffer from the same problem as most of the communication tools used in Africa: they tell the WHAT, but not the WHY. If we want people to change their behaviors we should, try and explain them why they must do it, at the same time as how. Covid-19 communication must, explain:

1. That the disease is transmitted by a virus.

2. How this virus is transmitted (directly from person to person, on surfaces…).

3. Many infected people can transmit the virus and never fall ill.

4. Infected people transmit the virus before having the disease.

Then, we can explain how to prevent the transmission. Anthropological studies we conducted in different African countries for various projects showed that people know that “microbes” or “viruses” exist, even in remote places. Based on this awareness, we can make the coronavirus transmission intelligible.

Even in industrialized countries, where people have tons of medical info through the media and from mouth to ear, there are misunderstandings and false information. In Africa, medical information about the 4 above-mentioned items is much less common.

Bernard Seytre

Health communication advisor, bnscommunication

Société Française de Médecine Tropicale et Santé Internationale


7 rue Ledion

75014 Paris

Tél. : +33 1 42 71 08 08, +33 6 03 54 88 13 <> <>

HIFA profile: Bernard Seytre is a Consultant at BNSCommunication in France. Professional interests: Health communication and education. Email address: seytre AT