TV for your health

Posted January, 26 2012 by arianne

PBS Newshour had a great little segment last night on a project out of Colorodo aimed at improving health among the Latino population.  This is done by delivering public health messages via telenovelas.

For those of you who may not have grown up watching Univision or Telemundo, telenovelas are basically like soap operas, but way better.  They have shorter runs, different genres, and jucier stories that develop much more quickly.  They also happen to be a big hit in the Latino community.

The Latino community, however, happens to have the highest rates of uninsurance in the nation – about 34%. 

Encrucijada: Sin Salud No Hay Nada,” or “Crossroads: Without Health, There Is Nothing,” is a telenovela funded by the Colorado Health Foundation that follows four health workers and focuses on a lot of issues that affect Latinos disproportionally, like diabetes and lack of insurance. Viewers are encouraged to call a toll-free number if they are experiencing issues like those faced by the characters on the show.

Apprarently, this show has been going on for a while becuase they are already filming season 2!  And, it seems to be getting some traction too – since the show first aired in May of last year, more than 800 people have phoned into the hotline.  That’s no small peanuts!

Wouldn’t it be great to do something like this in NY? Maybe El Bloombito could even have a small cameo role as, well, mayor or something :-)

Click here to read the story from PBS Newshour, titled “Telenovelas Provide Platform for Public Health Message.”

Click here to watch the trailer (in Spanish).