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Research on Depression in the Workplace.

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Mental Health Matters Journal for Psychiatrists & GP's

MHM Volume 8 Issue1

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Literacy is a luxury that many of us take for granted. That is why SADAG created SPEAKING BOOKS and revolutionized the way healthcare information is delivered to low literacy communities.

The customizable 16-page book, read by local celebrity audio recordings, ensures that vital health and social messages can be seen, heard, read and understood by everyone across the world.

We started with books on Teen Suicide prevention , HIV, AIDS and Depression, Understanding Mental Health and have developed over 100+ titles, such as TB, Malaria, Polio, Vaccines for over 45 countries.

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Staying Safe from Covid-19 with Speaking Books.

Look, Listen, and Learn from Covid-19 Speaking Books.

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For many years, SADAG had faced the enormous challenge of distributing health information to low literacy communities, until shown an example of an audio book that had been created for healthcare education, but just too complicated and way too expensive. So SADAG set out to create an affordable option 

SADAG’s Proudly South African initiative Speaking Books was launched at the Global Health Conference in Washington, D.C. with their first two books on understanding mental health an overwhelming success. Realizing that this innovation could be expanded to many other health and social issues all over the world, Speaking Books then went international, partnering with global health organizations. To date they’ve published over 100 different book titles ranging from No Smoking , to Learning the Alphabet with Sesame Street for Nigeria to Childhood Cancer for America, Teen Suicide Prevention for SA and now the latest being on  Covid-19. 

With our move to Level 1, the launch of Staying Safe from Covid-19 couldn’t come at a better time. Our Government has certainly got the Covid-19 awareness message out with campaigns headlining on social media, television, radio stations, in religious settings and at schools. Pamphlets and brochures are handed out at clinics and hospitals countrywide, all with the single aim: to educate the population about how to stay safe during these uncertain times and how to protect themselves from a virus that’s here to stay. However our rural areas with their low levels of literacy and children are missing out to critical, life-saving information.

Sadly, one in five people around the world remain illiterate today - two-thirds of them women.  Research has shown that low literacy directly correlates with poverty and disease and that life expectancy is lowest where people cannot read. A World Literacy Foundation report  indicated that because illiterate people have limited access to and understanding of health-related information, they are more likely to have worse health, hygiene and nutrition outcomes too. In an African context this is huge, especially in the midst of such a devastating pandemic - and this is where Staying Safe from Covid-19 comes in. 

A simple, yet innovative concept, it’s the very first Speaking Book to be published in Africa on Covid-19, and brings to life through culturally relevant artwork and simple, easy-to-understand- and easy-to-explain- text. It speaks to people of all ages- from very young children to adults who may struggle to read - in their own language at the push of a button, reducing misunderstanding and confusion while creating awareness and empowering communities to live better lives. Staying Safe from Covid-19 takes the user on a step by step journey on how to lower their risk of falling ill, from not wearing a mask to correct hand washing and social distancing. 

“The beauty of Speaking Books,” says Wilson the CEO.  “Is that they reach so many users. A research study by UNICEF in Ethiopia recorded an average of 120 users per book, making this a very cost effective way to provide critical lifesaving healthcare messaging that are always seen, read, heard and understood”. Every language is available.  These books are endorsed by the

World Medical Association.

SADAG has identified our most vulnerable communities and is very excited to announce the launch of the first Xhosa/English Staying Safe from Covid-19 Speaking Books in targeted hotspots in the Eastern Cape for distribution in hospitals, clinics and schools. SADAG is hoping for a buy-in from every province and also to work with African Governments to produce language-relevant Staying Safe from Covid-19 Speaking Books for other needy communities, in order to reduce transmission and ultimately save lives. 

Dr Reddys is proud to be associated with this life saving initiative and to know that Staying Safe from Covid-19 will be making a difference in the health and safety of our nation.

For press interviews, expert comments, case studies and statistics, please contact:

- Kayla Phillips on 083 333 7750 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
- Tracy Mukute on 074 379 8708 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
- Petri Greeff on 079 453 8780 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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