Using Magnet Theater to engage high risk communities in communicating bio-medico-social research:  Experiences in Kenya.  ...
Introduction to Magnet Theatre. <ul><li>Magnet Theatre evolved out of an urgent need to find an engaging community (initia...
The MT ‘Dilemma’ a safe space for discourse.  <ul><li>Magnet theatre creates space for discourse by presenting in juxtapos...
The MT Process. <ul><li>The theatre derives its engagement force from the specificity of the ‘issue’ and dilemma to the ta...
Examining of behavior options <ul><li>Through role play, role reversals, ‘ hot seating ’ the audience examine behavioral c...
Bio-medical research findings Vs Culture and Traditions <ul><li>Cultural tolerance and acceptance of polygamy in the face ...
Bio-medical research findings Vs Culture and Traditions <ul><li>Early marriage of the girl-child in the face of medico-soc...
Bio-medical research findings Vs Culture and Traditions <ul><li>Condom non-acceptance in the face of bio-medical research ...
Emerging Medico-legal issues versus public health concerns <ul><li>Needle exchange for IDU where drug use is both abhorred...
Conclusion. <ul><li>MT has been used in diverse populations in Kenya to open public discourse on issues formerly seen as t...
Conclusion <ul><li>Contextualization through public discourse of the bio-medical research as a response to issues and dile...
Finally. <ul><li>Thank you very much. </li></ul>
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Using Magnet Theater to engage high risk communities in communicating bio-medico-social research: Experiences in Kenya

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Presented by Oby Obyerodhyambo (Family Health International, Kenya) at the Public Engagement Workshop, 2-5 Dec. 2008, KwaZulu-Natal South Africa, http://scienceincommunity.wordpress.com/

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Using Magnet Theater to engage high risk communities in communicating bio-medico-social research: Experiences in Kenya

  1. 1. Using Magnet Theater to engage high risk communities in communicating bio-medico-social research: Experiences in Kenya. International Public Engagement Workshop 3-5 th December, 2008 African Center for Health and Population Studies, Somkhele, Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Africa Oby Obyerodhyambo., Family Health International, Kenya.
  2. 2. Introduction to Magnet Theatre. <ul><li>Magnet Theatre evolved out of an urgent need to find an engaging community (initially youth) forum for discourse that would lead to debating, choosing and rehearsing healthier behavior change options. </li></ul><ul><li>MT is: a) target audience specific, b) static or location specific, c) interactive and participatory and, d) provides a forum for behavior change rehearsal and magnification. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The MT ‘Dilemma’ a safe space for discourse. <ul><li>Magnet theatre creates space for discourse by presenting in juxtaposition the diametrically opposed desired behavior and the ‘ issue ’ which is a barrier to the adoption of the desired behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>The public are invited to create the bridge between the ‘ issue ’ and the desired behavior by debating the dilemma faced by the dilemma holder a personae in the theatre. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The MT Process. <ul><li>The theatre derives its engagement force from the specificity of the ‘issue’ and dilemma to the target population. </li></ul><ul><li>The self implication or self-identity created in the MT session creates cognitive dissonance in the audience that seeks resolution in re-enactments and rehearsals of ‘solutions’ to the dilemma. </li></ul><ul><li>The dissonance and reevaluation of held beliefs creates the first step in the journey of behavior change; questioning the unquestioned . </li></ul>
  5. 5. Examining of behavior options <ul><li>Through role play, role reversals, ‘ hot seating ’ the audience examine behavioral choices and test their efficacy as behavior change options in situ . </li></ul><ul><li>Subliminally, the collective/communal endorsement or disapproval of tried choices allows the individual to examine behavioral options open to them. </li></ul><ul><li>The enactment tests the efficacy of the choice before the community thus providing reassurance of acceptance upon adoption. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Bio-medical research findings Vs Culture and Traditions <ul><li>Cultural tolerance and acceptance of polygamy in the face of RH and HIV research that shows that polygamous unions carry a higher risk than monogamous unions. </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation as a rite of passage in the face of bio-medical research that shows that the practice increases the risk of gynecological and obstetric complication including fistula. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Bio-medical research findings Vs Culture and Traditions <ul><li>Early marriage of the girl-child in the face of medico-socio research that shows that longer/ higher exposure to education for the girl-child improves health. </li></ul><ul><li>Early initiation into sexual intercourse against the bio-medical research that shows greater vulnerability to infections when sexual activity is initiated early as well as risk of early pregnancy (elective traditional abortions) and child bearing. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Bio-medical research findings Vs Culture and Traditions <ul><li>Condom non-acceptance in the face of bio-medical research finding that condoms provide protection from HIV and STIs </li></ul><ul><li>MMC in non-circumcising communities when bio-medical research has evidence that MMC reduces chances of infection by 60% margin. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Emerging Medico-legal issues versus public health concerns <ul><li>Needle exchange for IDU where drug use is both abhorred as a crime and moral malfeasance yet a well documented prevention strategy for IDU for HIV and Hepatitis infection prevention. </li></ul><ul><li>Promotion of condom among sex workers seen as support or tolerance of sex work when bio-medical research has evidence that higher condom use by sex workers leads to reduced infection when there is a generalized epidemic. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Conclusion. <ul><li>MT has been used in diverse populations in Kenya to open public discourse on issues formerly seen as taboo like sexual orientation, inter-spousal adoption of condoms, drug dependence, culture and traditions supported by bio-medical research. </li></ul><ul><li>MT has empowered communities to name and discourse around bio-medical/ ethical issues, test community acceptance of adopted behavior, advocate for such behavior to be accepted as social norms. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Conclusion <ul><li>Contextualization through public discourse of the bio-medical research as a response to issues and dilemmas faced by communities is a viable way of engendering engagement between science and communities in an empowering way. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Finally. <ul><li>Thank you very much. </li></ul>

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