March 9th 2010
Science Theatre: An entertaining way to raise awareness of health and scientific issues in HCM city’s young people
Oxford University Clinical Research Unit & Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programme Vietnam
Oxford University Clinical Research Unit & Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programme Vietnam (OUCRU & WTMOP-VN) is proud to announce an exciting new endeavor: educational Science Theatre. These Science Theatre productions are part of a larger project of Public Engagement in Science or Mang Khoa Hoc Den Cong Chung - a community outreach project produced by the Training and Public Engagement Department of OUCRU & WTMOP-VN and sponsored by the Wellcome Trust UK.
The Oxford University Clinical Research Unit was established in 1991 by the Wellcome Trust, the largest medical charity in the UK, with support from the Hospital for Tropical Diseases (HTD) and the Health Services of Ho Chi Minh City. The unit now has collaborations in hospitals and institutes across HCMC and Hanoi, and the rest of Vietnam and South East Asia.
The unit’s strategic aim is to have a positive and significant impact on global health and, in particular, the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. This is being achieved via an integrated long-term research programme - performing clinical trials and basic scientific research, and contributions to training, the scientific literature, national and international meetings and membership of national and international committees. Priority is given to health issues important to the hospital and the city in which the unit is hosted, and the whole of Vietnam. All work is intended not only to benefit the patients seen daily at HTD and collaborating hospitals, but also to help improve patient care throughout the country.
In collaboration with the famous Thai Duong Theatre Company (IDECAF) in HCM city, OUCRU & WTMOP-VN has developed an educational theatre production to be performed at primary and secondary schools in various districts throughout Ho Chi Minh City. Through high quality theatre and drama we aim to highlight important, often difficult, current health and scientific issues and increase understanding in our audiences of children, young people and adults.
The first production, entitled “An Amazing Battle” and starring famous Vietnamese actors such as Dinh Toan and Bach Long, is due to premiere in March 2010. Incorporating famous Vietnamese folklore characters, such as Ong Dia, the round, happy God of the Earth who symbolizes prosperity and Thanh Giong, a famous mythological Vietnamese warrior, the story illuminates the causes and prevention of bacterial infection and raises awareness about antibiotic resistance.
When a young boy discovers Ong Dia has fallen ill, he and Thanh Giong use magical powers to become microscopic and travel in to the abyss of Ong Dia’s round belly to uncover the mystery of his ailment. With the help of an extremely meticulous doctor and a friendly bacterium the child and Thanh Giong learn about the sources and prevention of bacterial infection, as well as safe treatment methods. But, will they absorb enough information in time to conquer the mischievous bad bacteria and restore Ong Dia back to robust health? Captivated young audiences will be waiting in anticipation for that answer.
The first OUCRU & WTMOP-VN Science Theatre production is running from March to May 2010 and will be held in 25 schools in HCMC, reaching an estimated 25’000 students. A second show will be produced in early 2011. Through this work we hope to raise awareness about health and scientific related issues of relevance to people of all ages, and increase the profile of OUCRU & WTMOP-VN in the community that we work.
NOTES TO EDITORS
About The Wellcome Trust UK
We are a global charity dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health.
We support the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. Our breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health.
We are independent of both political and commercial interests.