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The Janakpur Women’s Development Centre (JWDC), University College London Institute of Global Health, HERD International, and Media for Development collaboratively organized a drama and a funfair, ‘Jeevan Shakti’ Mela in and around Janakpur to increase knowledge about diabetes. The drama traveled around villages surrounding Janakpur from the 11th of February 2019 where the Mela was celebrated on the 22nd and 23rd of February in Janakpur’s Bara Bigha.

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JWDC artists and researchers collaboratively planned and conducted discussions with community members, people with diabetes, health workers, and pharmacists about local understandings of diabetes, how it affects people’s lives, and how it is prevented and treated. We discussed our findings, and found that stigma and financial barriers, as well as lack of knowledge, prevented care-seeking for diabetes. Artists then discussed myths and misconceptions with a local health worker who talked to them about diabetes prevention and control.

We set up the games, displays, films and a stage in a large public park in Janakpur. Artists and local school volunteers encouraged passers-by to participate, talking to them about how to prevent and control diabetes. Artists led exercise sessions and a diabetes quiz on the stage. We collaborated with Beats and Step Dance School who led the crowd in Zumba exercise to popular Hindi dance music. We had ‘head in the hole’ photo stands and photo voice displays where participants could listen to stories of those who were managing their diabetes. An immersion tunnel overwhelmed participants who were attacked by giant ice-creams, cigarettes and sweets, emerging to children who had been face-painted with vegetables or dressed-up in carrot costumes. We also collaborated with a local non-governmental organization, SEIT Nepal, the Nepal Dietician Association and Janakpur Nursing College to provide free blood glucose testing, Body Mass Index measurement and nutrition counseling for around 800 people.

Articles Published Featuring the Jeevan Shakti Mela :-

(Click on the Titles to read the articles)