We made "Musele - The Diarrhea Song" available on all leading online music platforms. Stream it, buy it, share it! All profits will go directly to the Aka of Minganga to support their lives. We will keep you posted!
Every 6 seconds a child under 5 dies. Most of these deaths are entirely preventable. We could save millions of lives by providing illiterate mothers in developing countries with accessible health education. But this is not an easy task, especially when you need to reach out to remote and marginalized populations.
Take for example the Aka. They are a nomadic Mbenga pygmy people living as hunter-gatherers in the dense rainforests of the Western Congo Basin in Central Africa. The Aka people are vulnerable individually and as a community. They are geographically isolated, illiterate, have no written language and no access to social services. So how can we make sure that they can acquire vital health knowledge?
The answer is: with songs and solar-powered MP3 players. Music is a key element of the social and spiritual life of the community. It forms an integral part of Aka rituals including ceremonies related to the inauguration of new encampments, hunting and funerals. That's why French anthropologist Romain Duda came up with the idea of inspiring songs that could be used for health sensitization. His effort is part of a project that is lead by the Order of Malta France with the goal to improve the health status of the Aka.
Like for example "Musele - The Diarrhea Song". The song starts with the following line: "We are Bambenzele (Aka) from Minganga and Komo. My name is Lokombe Michel and now we're going to play our music to talk about diarrheal disease problems, because it's something that you need to avoid at all costs." It goes on with advice on how to prevent diarrhea ("You have to wash your hands. Drink clean, clear water.") and recommends local medicinal plants like stool wood (alstonia congensis) for treatment. The songs are performed and recorded in the field and later distributed together with additional information on our solar-powered URIDU MP3 players.
The Aka have lost hundreds of their children every year due to diarrhea. For the first time ever we are able to change that. With the power of music and simple yet innovative technology.