'Cooperate, Endure, and Sprint': Ethiopian Celebrity Game Show Promotes New Health Insurance Scheme

'Cooperate, Endure, and Sprint': Ethiopian Celebrity Game Show Promotes New Health Insurance Scheme

 {Photo credit: Anteneh Tesfaye/MSH.}(from left) Dereje Haile and Tsedenia Gebremarkos during the filming of a health insurance themed episode of the popular ETV show, Question and Answer Competition.Photo credit: Anteneh Tesfaye/MSH.

We will sprint in the last round like our athletes. That is the Ethiopian style.

So says the famous Ethiopian comedian Dereje Haile. His team is lagging behind in the first round of the popular Ethiopian Television (ETV) game show, Question and Answer Competition.

Haile is the source of constant laughter since before the filming of the show, when he performed a quick physical exercise, as if about to enter into a boxing ring. His teammate, Kora Music Award winner and pop star, Tsedenya Gebremarkos, confirms Haile’s words, and promises the audience they will do better in the second round.

On the other side of the stage stand the other two contestants: the well-known Ethiopian poet, Tagel Seifu, and the famous journalist and actress, Haregewoyn Assefa.

They look confident, leading in the first round.

 [(from left) Tagel Seyfu, Haregewoin Assefa, and host, Meron Getnet, during the filming of Question and Answer Competition for ETV.] {Photo credit: Anteneh Tesfaye/MSH.}(from left) Tagel Seyfu, Haregewoin Assefa, and host, Meron Getnet, during the filming of Question and Answer Competition for ETV.Photo credit: Anteneh Tesfaye/MSH.

The show is being filmed live in the presence of an audience from different organizations, including Management Sciences for Health (MSH), private health science colleges, and senior representatives from the Ethiopian Health Insurance Agency (also known as the Agency). The popular Question and Answer Competition has been on the air every Thursday night in Ethiopia for more than 12 years. But this particular episode is unique: it was part of a one-month campaign to promote the upcoming Social Health Insurance Scheme and featured four of the biggest celebrities in the country as contestants. Handpicked by the Agency’s communication task force and Health for All: Campaign for Universal Health Coverage in Africa (Health for All), led by MSH, to be ambassadors for the scheme, the celebrities have spent hours studying the schemes prior to filming.

Health for All in Ethiopia: "Cooperate, Endure, and Sprint"

The Government of Ethiopia has committed itself to providing affordable health care services and achieving universal health coverage through a Social Health Insurance scheme and a new Community-Based Health Insurance scheme. The Health for All campaign has been leading the communication and popular mobilization for the Agency: including production of TV and radio spots, print communication materials, and sponsorship of live TV and radio programs. The campaign has also conducted media trainings. Health for All is also working with civil society groups and governments in Kenya and Nigeria.

As the show progresses to the third round, Haile’s team is making a comeback. One could tell from their instant answers that they have done their homework and studied the schemes. Gebremarkos confidently answers the last question about the scheme’s guiding principles—crea­­ting a tie. Haile proudly looks to the audience—pleased to have kept his promise to make a comeback—and says:

This is Ethiopian style in athletics and beyond: Cooperate, Endure, and Sprint.

Ethiopia expects a long and difficult road toward ensuring universal health coverage. Yet, these celebrities represent millions of Ethiopians who are ready to welcome the implementation of the Social Health Insurance Scheme. And, as Haile wisely states, the Ethiopian style will help ensure our country achieves health for all. All it takes is cooperation, endurance, and sprinting at the most decisive times.

Watch the episode on ethiopian.tv

[Watch the episode on ethiopian.tv] Watch the episode on ethiopian.tv

Anteneh Tesfaye Lemma is a communications specialist for Health for All: Campaign for Universal Health Coverage in Africa, led by MSH and funded by The Rockefeller Foundation.

Add new comment

Printer Friendly VersionPDF