The voices of SHOPS Plus staff in Haiti can be heard weekly in homes around the Caribbean nation, giving advice on current public health topics. Project staff in Port-au-Prince work with Voice of America’s Creole service to produce a weekly radio show.
The 45-minute broadcast addresses Zika and cholera epidemics, as well as family planning, child nutrition, and vaccination. Listeners call in with questions in Creole, which are answered by hosts from the project. The first show, which was a response to Hurricane Matthew, described the risks and symptoms of cholera and gave prevention tips.
“The VOA show is live, so we can adapt messaging quickly for a wide audience,” says John Harris, chief of party for the SHOPS Plus program in Haiti. “That’s especially important in situations where there’s an emerging health threat like Zika or cholera, when we need to highlight practical protective actions people can act on the same day."
The SHOPS Plus team in Haiti works closely with USAID, the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population, and other local experts to write and review the content.
Voice of America Creole is considered a reliable source of news for people living in Haiti and those in the Haitian diaspora, with 80 percent of the service’s listeners saying they trust what they hear.