This book brings together multiple voices and positions from Africa. These voices, assembled during a 2003 Soap Summit held in Nairobi, are powerful and varied and suggest ways in which issues of health could be tackled in an entertaining manner. The summit organised by Population Communications International - Africa. highlighted the critical role that the arts can play in ensuring better health, especially among the youth. It resulted from the recognition that young people in Africa are faced with a myriad of problems and complications as they struggle to deal with growth and identity formation, within a globalising social and economic setup. They are in dire need of information on their own sexuality and how to deal with it and are getting conflicting signals from the mass media, as well as their immediate environment. The youth are under intense pressure from their peers to engage in premarital sex, which is in most cases unprotected. The HIV/AIDS epidemic presents frightening challenges and all health programs should look for ways of dealing with it. Of great to concern is the vulnerability of women and girls in Africa due to rising poverty, gender violence, lack of access to youth-friendly reproductive health facilities, and lack of a conducive infrastructure especially in informal settlements and in the rural areas. The myriad problems presented by the pandemic require a multi-sectoral approach. This book brings together a number of strategies being undertaken in Africa that combine entertainment and education in a positive way. The voices from the Soap Summit are interspersed with those of the Editor to create a dialogue on entertainment-education that contributes to the discussion on the way social change might be undertaken.
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