Comics for Diabetes and Stroke Prevention

Diabetes is a major risk factor for stroke. Check out our diabetes awareness campaign, which has been translated into Portuguese to appear in O Jornal, a free newspaper in Fall River, MA.

Stroke is a significant public health concern: it is the second leading cause of death worldwide, and is a leading cause of permanent disability.  A population that has a particularly high risk for stroke is diabetics: in fact, one in eight diabetics will eventually suffer from a stroke, and having diabetes doubles one’s risk for stroke.

Diabetes is highly prevalent in Fall River, Mass: 11.3% of the population currently has diabetes and 7.0% has prediabetes. Every week in Massachusetts alone there are 38 cases of leg amputations, 22 deaths, and 5 new cases of blindness due to diabetes.

Approximately 35% of the population of Fall River, Mass, speaks Portuguese as their primary language, and there is a paucity of written material available for diabetics in Portuguese as well as a shortage of diabetes educators that speak Portuguese. This creates enormous barriers to education and diabetes management.

The SoundMind Project implemented a project in Fall River Massachusetts in which comics were created to deliver simple health and diet advice in Portuguese. We collaborated with local diabetes educators, doctors, and patients to create culturally-sensitive Tips. These Tips were published weekly for one year in the local newspaper, O Jornal (Fall River, MA).

These health messages can help improve diabetes management and outcomes in those who are not typically exposed to health education by creating easily understandable information in  visual media format. This project was received by the population with much enthusiasm and excitement.