World Malaria Day at Local Schools

April 28, 2016:  A Blog Post by Makenzie

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Casey and Lauren are swarmed by children excited to see them.

The true World Malaria Day was Monday April 25, a day aimed at education surrounding malaria prevention, and awareness of the disease. Over 3.2 billion people in the world are at risk for contracting malaria with 214 million cases reported last year. We had the opportunity to tag along with Lynda, a Peace Corps volunteer for Masindi-Kitara Medical Center, and the youth group she trains to educate younger students on malaria. We visited 5 different schools with children ranging from preschool to middle school age. We always enjoy spending time with kids here; they are so kind and welcoming wherever we go.

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This little girl clung to Lauren’s hand and followed her wherever she went.

Lauren made a special friend with one of the little girls. The girl held her hand during the whole presentation and followed her everywhere.

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The Ugandan youth that were trained by Lynda, the Peace Corp Volunteer, present the information to the school children

Back to the youth’s group presentation…they broke it up into 3 different parts. It started with general information about how malaria is spread, how to prevent it, and what to do if you suspect you have it. The children participated and many of them knew the answers to these questions when asked. It was explained to us that this kind of teaching is started at a very young age and is reinforced throughout the rest of their lives.

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The children gather around to watch the drama

A small “drama” was then performed. They group acted out a man going to the doctor, being tested for malaria and then going to the pharmacy to receive the medication. This was especially important as it emphasized the importance of malaria testing and also about finishing the malaria medication and not just stopping after you start to feel better (which can be within the first day of treatment). Finally a story entitled “Mrs. Mosquito” was read. It was a cute story that demonstrated the proper way to use a mosquito net and included lots of pictures to help the younger children understand as many of them do not speak/understand much English.

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All schools here in Uganda require school uniforms. They are unique to each school and you can tell which school a child attends by the outfit. The blue color of these outfits is striking.

We enjoyed our time out and about in Masindi and walking to the various schools gave us a better view of the more rural areas of the town. For more information on World Malaria Day visit: http://www.worldmalariaday.org/ .

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Casey and Lauren in the midst of many children. Notice how one child just had to touch Lauren’s “golden” hair. Often children will want to come up and touch our skin to see if “white” skin feels different than theirs- or maybe it is to see if the “white” color will rub off.

Ps. Tomorrow is our last day of pharmacy school!!!!!! It is also our last day at MKMC, which has been a great experience. We learned a lot from the staff and patients at the clinic and we hope we left them with something as well. Stayed tuned tomorrow for baby day!

 

About kbohan

Professor and Founding Chair, Department of Pharmacy Practice Binghamton University School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Binghamton, NY USA
This entry was posted in Diseases/Health, My Safari (My Journey/Adventure) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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