April 28, 2016: A Blog Post by Makenzie
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.
Lauren made a special friend with one of the little girls. The girl held her hand during the whole presentation and followed her everywhere.
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.
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.
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/ .
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!