Written by Kristina Sandfoss
PCV Kendra Smith is basedÂ in a rural village in Kiruhura District in Southwestern Uganda. Uganda Bites Back, a project Kendra created, coordinatesÂ two-day malaria workshops for Village Health Teams (VHT) comprised of local volunteers that assist with distributing health education, skills and assessments to community members.
The goals of the project are to train the VHT Coordinators on malaria education and prevention, specifically mosquito net repair, care and maintenance, to increase community knowledge of malaria, malaria prevention and to encourage behavior change around proper bed net use.
Kendra is passionate about the fight against malaria and this passion is whatÂ pushed her to create Uganda Bites Back . Earlier this year, Kendra conducted a baseline survey to better understand what community members knew aboutÂ bed net usage; the results confirmed the need for bed nets in the homes and education on their proper use. Â Kendra says â€śI know behavior change is one of the hardest parts of a society to effect, but a difference cannot be made if nothing is ever triedâ€ť.
Kendraâ€™s efforts are supported with a grant from the Pollination Project. The grant will fund supplies for each training and materials for net repair.Â The Pollination Project is a US based vegan organization that makes $1000 seed grants to individuals committed to making change happen every day of the year. The organization has supported 18 projects in Uganda that range from students becoming conservation advocates and community leaders to gender based violence workshops training community activists to malaria and other health education activities
Follow along with Kendraâ€™s project on her blog http://ksmithpcv.blogspot.com/
For more information on The Pollination Project visit http://thepollinationproject.org/