Bush can you place your stethoscope south-west of Burkina Faso

June 6, 2007 at 1:35 pm 3 comments

Oxfam Big Heads map out need for health workers in Africa.

Emma Seery, Oxfam’s G8 Campaigns Coordinator, reports live from the stunt frontline…

Emma SeeryEmma Seery: Oxfam’s G8 Campaigns Coordinator


Such a great day today! Feeling exhilarated and surprisingly awake after a whole week of organising, making poker tables, sewing G8 flags onto swimming shorts, dancing around in nurses outfits in the hotel to try them out…. Yes mum, this is what I do for a living….

My day started with a 7am telephone conference between my bedroom and the team over at the media centre. And there was gossip from their end. The G8 countries have still not made their final decisions on what they will commit to on Africa. And some are dragging their heels (come on Italy, Japan and Canada – you know who you are!). So the pressure was on to make the stunt work today, and show the leaders that we are all watching and demanding they keep their promises.

The mission of the stunt team was to remind the G8 leaders to prioritise health systems in Africa. Cue a massive Africa cut-out surrounded by Oxfam’s G8 Big Heads in rather comedy doctors and nurses outfits carrying plastic stethoscopes.

My personal mission was to make sure that the 8 volunteers from Oxfam Spain who were donning the Big Heads managed to pull off convincing photos without dehydrating or falling into the sea. Sounds easy eh. Well the word ‘cuidado’ certainly came in handy, but I ended up manhandling them all into position cos its kind of hard to be precise about ‘Bush can you place your stethoscope south-west of Burkina Faso’ in Spanish.

My personal highlight was my first ever television interview. Woohoo! I have arrived. From the backstage taping props together, I made it in front of the camera. I thought I was on Paris TV so I tried to look chic in my sun-glasses (ok, so that was because of my raging hay fever really), but it turned out that it was Polish TV. Also cool though. I tried to be all relaxed about it, but inside my head I was playing out a Homer Simpson style scenario where I say something like ‘My pants are really chafing’ on the outside, and ‘Doh’ on the inside. Fortunately I managed to keep it together and stick with the shocking truth that despite having 13 per cent of the world’s population, Africa only has 1.3 per cent of the world’s doctors and nurses. This was the scandal that we helped to put under the noses of the G8 today. Lets hope they are listening to us and to you all out there.


Entry filed under: G8 2007 - Germany.

Africa needs action and it needs it now In the Belly of the Beast

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ben Margolis  |  June 7, 2007 at 7:24 am

    Emma – great blog entry. Sounds like the Oxfam team are all doing an amazing job – keep it guys!

  • 2. Rob Saunders  |  June 7, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    i just saw the G8 big heads on the BBC 6o’clock and wanted to say that i think your all doing a brilliant job out there. Keep the pressure on.

  • 3. clyopa  |  December 5, 2007 at 7:23 am

    That is fantastic idea))

    Homes in USA


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