Skip to content Skip to main menu

A Germ’s Journey Global Dialogue Newsdesk

From 9am BST Wednesday 26th May 2021

Follow on the A Germ’s Journey YouTube Live Stream.

A Germ’s Journey is hosting our first global newsdesk, an international dialogue about the challenge of supporting community relevant public health communications. The newsdesk will bring together community health and community media practitioners and advocates from around the world, so that we can share our experiences, insight and learning about how community-focussed communications practices for public health have been tested during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The international newsdesk is an opportunity to be part of a global conversation about the challenges of managing public health communications using community-focussed learning and community media techniques. The newsdesk will share insight gained during the pandemic, with the aim of identifying how we might better support public health communication practices in the future.

Conversations draw on the experience of community health, community education and community media practitioners in different countries. Each contributor works across a range of different media platforms, and use innovative techniques of engagement. The newsdesk aims to foster dialogue and learning by exchanging ideas and practical resources. We will do this by calling on the professional and non-professional skills and knowledge of people with first-hand experience of promoting community-focussed public health and hygiene strategies.

Session One 9am BST - How Community Media Faced the Pandemic in Bangladesh

A conversation with Bazlur Rahman and Hiren Pandit, who are leading community media and community radio practitioners and advocates in Bangladesh. They will be exploring the challenges of ‘communication collapse’ and the impact of the fourth industrial revolution on public health communications thinking and practices.

Session Two 10am BST – International Information and Myth Busting

This session will bring together advocates producers for BBC Media Action and Internews, with a focus on how international community and public information media has responded to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the communication of trusted information. The session will explore myth busting is championed in different communities, and will examine the learning points that can be shared internationally to help foster more resilient health communication responses in the future?

Session Three 11am BST – The Story of A Germ’s Journey

A conversation hosted by Indrani Lahiri of De Montfort University, which discusses the development of A Germ’s Journey from an initial UK-based book to a global health education project. The discussion explores the origins and development of A Germ’s Journey with Hannah Southcott of Medina Publishing Jules Marriner, Prof Sarah Younie and Dr Katie Laird.

Session Four 12pm BST – Collaborative Public Health Knowledge Production in the Context of a Global Pandemic

Facilitated by the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford, this conversation brings together public health researchers and communications specialists. The panel will share their experiences of communicating and developing key public health messages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including engaging the public to set priorities for health research; championing the value of participating in clinical trials; and using photography to explore the social impacts of the COVID-19 lockdowns for older people.

Session Five 1pm BST - My Healthy Friends Educational Materials on Covid-19 Prevention in South Sudan

A conversation hosted by Malteser International and German Toilet Organization, which discusses both, the development and the implementation of the My Healthy Friends educational materials in South Sudanese schools. The conversation will share experiences on coordination and cooperation as well as discussing how the My Healthy Friends roll-out in South Sudanese schools is happening during the pandemic.

Session Six 2pm BST - Red Cross Support in Irish Prisons During Lockdown

This session is coordinated by Governor Frances Daly and discussed the effective hygiene practices within Irish prisons during the lockdown. Working with the Irish Red Cross, the Irish prison service responded to the lockdown by focussing on how infection control, with pioneering collaborations by prison and education staff, and by prisoners, through a peer-led programme to support wellbeing champions.

Session Seven 3pm BST – Learning the Lessons

This discussion will bring together the themes of the previous conversations, and will ask what we can do to improve public health and hygiene engagement in the future by supporting and enhancing the role that is played by community media and community-focussed health communications. What are the next steps, and how can be better share the insight and experience of community health and media advocates working in this field?

Follow Up

After the newsdesk, the recordings of the discussions will be shared from the A Germ’s Journey website and social media platforms. The conversations will be repurposed as podcasts and vlogs, and will be made available for use on a Creative Commons, non-commercial use basis.





The newsdesk is produced as part of the A Germ’s Journey project, led by Professor Sarah Younie and Dr Katie Laird of De Montfort University. Supported by a grant from the Higher Education Innovations Fund (HEIF), A Germ’s Journey is a public engagement project supported by DMU Local and the DMU SDG 16 Hub.

A Germ’s Journey links people across three continents to promote the message that handwashing is an essential part of our personal and public health responsibilities. A Germ’s Journey works alongside people in developing communities to make and share their own trusted and engaging media content about public health and hygiene.

Underpinning A Germ’s Journey is the ethos of co-creation and collaboration, and the idea that public health information is more effective if co-produced by people who share an affinity and common life-experiences. This means making media that reflects what it is like to live in a specific place and community.

A Germ’s Journey aims to support public health focussed communications that fits with local social and cultural priorities, that meets the expectations and priorities of people acting for themselves to make homegrown improvements in their health and wellbeing.

See more news articles

You can be a part of the project

You can add to our current research findings by filling out a short questionnaire. We really value your honest feedback.

Find out more