Weekly Awesome Senegal: 18 Village Tour to Teach Net Care and Repair

In October and November, PCVs Kimberly Boland and Courtney Ruble, with help from PCV Lexi Merrick, held a bed net care, repair and transformation community training tour, riding their bikes to 18 sites in their region of Kolda. The PCVs chose to conduct a net care tour to extend new practices and reinforce old ones. Washing nets, for example, is an old practice that a lot of people don’t do or don’t do right. Nets should be washed using ordinary soap, i.e. not detergent, which surprisingly few people know, and they have to be hung in the shade to dry. Both practices help to keep the insecticide in the fibers of the net and to maintain the life expectancy of the net. With all three practices, materials are the main problem and this tour aimed to remove that barrier. In the 18 villages where the program was implemented, 468 nets were washed, 157 nets were sewed, and 175 nets were transformed, with approximately 155 people attending a malaria sensitization.

Mornings were dedicated to washing dirty nets, sewing holes, and transforming square nets into circular nets. In the afternoon community members would put on a malaria related theater skit or attend a malaria awareness causerie run by a community health worker. The theater sketches had varying success. Everyone who prepared a sketch did a great job, but sometimes the draw could be too much. Too many kids, too much talking, and no one would be able to hear anything, which was the whole point! The theater sketches were part of a larger contest and the top three sketches are going to be recorded and played on the radio in January!

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Peace Corps Senegal Volunteer Courtney Ruble repairs a mosquito net with work partner Tidiane Diao, in Kolda Senegal.

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A Senegalese man demonstrates how to properly wash a mosquito net.

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Peace Corps Senegal Volunteers Kimberly Boland (left) and Lexi Merrick (right) gear up for their ride to villages in the Kolda region for their net care and repair tour.

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A Senegalese woman proudly displays her newly transformed conical mosquito net.