Speaking Books References

“Thank you for the (speaking) books of HIV/AIDS and Suicide. They are wonderful tools to reduce the stigma of mental illnesses and promote awareness of mental health, and I am pleased to have them.”
Rosalynn Carter – USA First Lady

American Indian and Hispanic migrant farmworker families are in a state of crisis when it comes to diabetes, and low literacy makes it difficult to communicate about healthy diets,” said Denise Glyn Borders, Ed.D, senior vice president and director of the AED U.S. Education and Workforce Development Group. “Speaking books provide an innovative way for us to effectively communicate with these families about the importance of diet and physical activity.

Dr. Soeren Rasmussen, Senior Director for Pfizer Inc. and responsible for implementing Pfizer’s Speaking Book program, “There is a need for informing people with limited literacy skills on how clinical trials work, and by using the Speaking Book it has made it possible for us to deliver simple messages that will be seen read, heard and understood. We first introduced the Speaking Books with WMA for Africa, followed by India in Hindi and Telugu, and now the next in our series being an anti-smoking Speaking Book recorded in Mandarin focusing on Chinese youth

According to Zane Wilson, Founder and CEO of SADAG, “The situation we face in rural South Africa is the same in any other SADC or African country – low literacy, compounded by lack of access to services and affordable health care. This means that patients are often not able to get help for many health problems. We believe that this interactive, durable, high quality, hardcover book engages the reader and allows them to build self confidence and skills with a simple action plan”.

Emma Andrews, Director, External Medical Division of Pfizer (USA)
At the core of what we strive for is that our medicines are used safely and effectively. The problem is how to reach low income, illiterate populations? This book which focuses on Anglophile Africa, does a great deal to reach this population. The training of community workers, caregivers and patients will benefit greatly from this book.

I keep thinking about those simple ‘talking books’ that can be adapted to any subject or language for any low-literate populations. What a terrific way to get important information to themBarbara Kazdan, Senior Venture Entrepreneur, Co-Director ASHOKA

This book is good for teaching students about the care of medicine. The pictures are bright and catch your eye,’ says Eva Thekoane from the Nursing College at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. Nosiphiwe Mthembus, also a nurse from the Nursing College says, ‘It will help those who are unable to read English as the 30 second sound clip on each page reads it for you.’ They agree that everyone should know everything about safe use of regular medication. ‘This book is important for all ages in the community as there are eleven year olds looking after nine year olds,’ commented Thuli Komane, also from the Nursing College at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

According to Jack Watters, Vice President of External Medical Affairs of Pfizer in New York.It’s vital for us to get the information and message to as many people as possible. You’ve only done half of the job by producing the medicine, although that’s a very important half. The second thing is making sure they get to the right people and they understand their safe and proper use. This is a wonderful book. I received my first copy in my office in Manhattan and when I turned it on I was immediately in the environment it was designed for. That’s the power of the speaking book!” comments Watters enthusiastically.

The most exciting part of this is that it adds another dimension to what we do,” said Brian Daniel, CEO of Pfizer South Africa. “We are striving to give as many people access to our medicines and help reach our full potential as a nation. We want to reach physicians, nurses and pharmacists with this book, to educate and build relationships by offering educational opportunities. This book adds a totally different dimension by reaching out to people on how to take medicines. With the high rate of illiteracy in these areas pamphlets just don’t work.

Dr. Edward Hill, Chair of Council, WMA, said: ‘More than ever it is necessary to do research, with, in and – most important – for poor populations. I applaud the production of the speaking book, because it means paying more attention to the poorer communities of this world instead of abandoning them or just ignoring their needs.’

Dr. Kgosi Letlape, Chair of the South African Medical Association, said: ‘Animation and cartoons help to break down the barriers of communication and most people feel comfortable with educational material presented in this form. If you cannot understand the words, you can get the meaning from the pictures as well as listening to the book.

They (Speaking Books) are especially good for a person who can’t read at all, but who need some confirmation in a printed form that what a caregiver is telling him is true. Here is a book that talks to you – so you don’t have to read to know you have “seen it in writing”. I only wish I had more money for each project. I would like to see SADAG training and Speaking Books going to each of my grantees, and I will work on it for next year
Thanks so much for all you do. It’s great to have such a group like SADAG doing this type of work at this time in South Africa. It has definitely made a difference in the areas I am working.
Chalone Savant 
USAID HIV/AIDS Community Grants Coordinator US Consulate General Durban South Africa

Hi Brian,
I have just returned from Liberia and the speaking book distribution is scaling up with teachers and community health volunteers. They love it and so do the ministry of health. We are just establishing monitoring criteria for the book and other IEC activities so that we can measure the usage etc.
I look forward to seeing the next one. I am sure we buy some more for Liberia shortly.
Best Regards
Richard Allan
Director – The Mentor Initiative (Malaria)

When finances are limited and literacy poor, the Speaking book provides an inexpensive way to disseminate valuable information at low costJohns Hopkins Media/Materials Clearinghouse

We were especially excited with the Speaking Books on Living with HIV and AIDS and Depression. We had excellent feedback from our HBCW (home based care workers) about how well received they were in the communities. We will probably order more sets in the new financial year, as a tool they have worked well.Dr IM Sibeko, SA Department of Health, Head of Department

I was delighted when Zane and Elizabeth invited me to ‘man’ the SADAG stand with Elizabeth on the Tuesday of the 3 day congress. The interest in the speaking books was quite overwhelming and emphasized to me, just how valuable these tools can be in so many care-giving arenas.
Our stand was visited by Primary Healthcare, Nurse Educators and policy-makers alike. The Nurse Educators were particularly interested in the ‘safe use of medicine’ as well as the ‘what it means to be part of a clinical trial’. Across the board all delegates wanted ‘Living with HIV does not mean living depression’ as well as the teen suicide book. Of course, so many suggested that it would be so beneficial to take these books to the schools to facilitate dialogue.I feel Pfizer as a sponsor of such a unique tool was seen and appreciated as a company that invests in the SA community. Many thanks to Zane and Elizabeth for the opportunity. Dale Joynt Patient Advocacy Manager, Pfizer SA