Flip chart on safe hospitals: an educational tool for community use

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As part of the 2008–2009 Global Campaign for Disaster Reduction, which is dedicated to the theme of safe hospitals, many manuals and promotional and training materials have been prepared. However, their contents are almost always technical and they are written for specialists and practitioners. A simpler, more practical tool was needed that would help a wider and less specialized audience get the message. How could we call on a community, a school, or a rural health center to be partners and participants in this campaign? This flip chart gives us that opportunity. It has an entertaining format and design, and it teaches by using simple and direct language.

A tool for teaching and motivating

A flip chart is used for presenting ideas in a display format. Each illustrated sheet presents only the most important ideas; pictures are accompanied by short, simple text written in a font that is easy to read. In this case, the flip chart is 10 pages long. It presents key messages about the 2008–2009 Global Campaign which have been adapted for teaching at the community level, in health care centers, and/or schools.
It was conceived and developed as an informational, motivational, and educational tool that could communicate the strategic importance of safe health facilities, whether large hospitals in urban areas or small health posts serving urban and rural populations. The flip chart can be used to work with a variety of audiences, including:

  • Children and teenagers
  • Persons associated with health services in the region
  • Users of health services
  • Media and education sectors
  • Authorities from different levels and sectors, including regional and local authorities
  • Community at large

The three objectives–to inform, motivate, and educate–are achieved by inviting reflection on the “stories” that are presented. A story is presented on each page of the flip chart. Through individual or collective reflection about the images, new stories, behavior, lessons, and conclusions will emerge that will enhance the potential and scope of the material.

How to use the flip chart

The flip chart can be “guided use” teaching, where the person leading the session suggests that the audience perform certain activities such as: discuss these stories as a group and compare different versions from the discussion process and propose conclusions and lessons learned from each of the stories. For “open use” teaching, sheets from the flip chart can be placed in locations throughout the community, such as waiting rooms and clinics of health facilities, shops and supermarkets, places where people stand in line (city hall and other public institutions, banks, utility payment windows, etc.), and educational facilities. With open use, there is the potential for collective reaction to messages on each sheet, as well as individual reflection. Having the media use the sheets as newspaper inserts is a good use of the material.

The development and use of the flip chart is a joint initiative of the U.N. International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, PAHO/WHO, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and UNICEF, with support from the Humanitarian Department of the European Commission (ECHO). The objective of this project is to broaden the reach of the safe hospitals campaign and include people working with national agencies and international NGOs, the private sector, academic institutions, parliamentarians, local authorities, and communities.

For more information about this project, contact Ricardo Perez, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


The Three Little Pigs

Following the familiar children’s story, “The Three Little Pigs,” the message of this flip chart concludes that safe health facilities provide security, continuity, and quality of health care and benefit all members and sectors in the community ... including the Big Bad Wolf. Similar stories can be used to encourage listeners to use their imaginations to find similar conclusions.

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Noah’s Ark

In this flip chart, health facilities/services are symbolized as Noah’s Ark, which is suitably prepared to face the effects of a storm. The graphics let you see elements inside the Ark that determine its safety, such as: trained personnel, proper equipment, an emergency plan, structure that can resist various hazards, ongoing maintenance, and, of course, responsible users.

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Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

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