Weekly Awesome Madagascar: Impromptu Malaria Events, Gasy Style

Photo Credit: Cody Casey.     Photo op with PCV's and students after the Malaria Education Event.

Photo Credit: Cody Casey. Photo op with PCV’s and students after the Malaria Education Event.

Written by: Liz Toomey, PCRV, Malaria Coordinator

Earlier this month PCVs from the east coast of Madagascar decided to incorporate a Malaria Event in one of the local elementary schools into their upcoming Volunteer Action Committee (VAC) meeting.  Organizing an event such as this requires zero funding and minimal planning, but lots of enthusiasm and creativity.  A few weeks prior to the event the VAC representative from the east coast, second year Education PCV Dash Walczak, called the principal of the local elementary school to propose the 2 hour Malaria Event, and the response was an overwhelming “Eka!” (yes!).  He arranged for the teachers to assist in crowd control of the nearly 500 students, as well as a space outdoors, and a few tables to set up activities.

Once the date, time, tables, and supervision was sorted out, it was up to the PCVs attending the event to bring any props they would need for their activity.

Photo credit: Charlotte Steppling.  PCV's Alicia Adler and Astrid Rademeyer teach students about RDTs, ACTs, symptoms of malaria, and the importance of seeking treatment....all with the help of "Volasoa".

Photo credit: Charlotte Steppling. PCV’s Alicia Adler and Astrid Rademeyer teach students about RDTs, ACTs, symptoms of malaria, and the importance of seeking treatment….all with the help of “Volasoa”.

The activities decided upon were:

1.) Malaria Jeopardy: Consisting of questions about malaria of varying difficulty presented in Jeopardy fashion.

Photo Credit: Samantha Hong.  Chris Shisler, Loren Diesi, and Cody Casey facilitate a round of Malaria Jeopardy.

Photo Credit: Samantha Hong. Chris Shisler, Loren Diesi, and Cody Casey facilitate a round of Malaria Jeopardy.

2.) Bed Net Washing : The basics of net washing and care using a basin, mosquito net, appropriate soap.  Show the students how to properly wash the nets, and to hang them in the shade once clean.  Always emphasize the importance of sleeping under a net every night!

3.) Test/Treatment/Symptoms:  Using a puppet, two PCV’s discussed the signs and symptoms of Malaria, showed what RDT tests look like, and acted out scenarios with the puppet teaching the students the importance of early care seeking.

4.) Malaria Soccer Games:  Set up a course of mosquitos (using drawings of mosquitos stuck to sticks) for the kids to dodge and weave while dribbling a soccer ball.  If they touch the “mosquitos”, they must sit out until they receive “treatment”.  Incorporate a discussion about ways to protect yourself from malaria prior to the game.

5.) Act it Out: Students pick cards out of a hat and act out symptoms or scenerios.

6.) Bed Net Repair: Using a demonstration net that is full of holes, show the students how to properly repair a bed net.

We broke the students into reasonably sized groups, and rotated them every 15 mins for the 2 hour period.   The event was a success!

Photo Credit: Charlotte Steppling.

Photo Credit: PCV Charlotte Steppling