Meeting Millennium Development Goals
through local languages
Goal 6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
SIL views local language development as essential to achieve this goal.
People in ethnolinguistic communities are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases due in part to the lack of essential information in the mother tongue. Reading materials in local languages that discuss hygiene, nutrition,and the prevention and treatment of diseases have proven to be effective in improving general health and life expectancy. The availability of culturally-relevant information dispels misconceptions surrounding HIV/AIDS.
Informational DVD Dramatizes HIV/AIDS
In a culture where information is often relayed through songs, dance and plays, the people of Papua New Guinea (PNG) are receiving life-saving education in a culturally relevant medium. A DVD titled Get AIDS—Get Trouble dramatizes how HIV/AIDS affects the family when one member contracts the disease. Produced and performed in one of PNG's trade languages, Melanesian Pidgin, the DVD has been translated into several local languages.
PNG is vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. Low literacy rates and lack of access to reliable media sources mean that many face this new sickness with misconceptions. A booklet that accompanies the DVD clearly describes causes, preventative measures, consequences and the care needed for victims. The booklet has now been translated and printed in more than 30 PNG languages. Funding from the National AIDS Council of PNG has helped to cover printing and distribution costs.