Peace Corps Benin
- 125 Volunteers serving in the sectors of Rural Community Health, Community Economic Development, Environmental Action, and Teaching English as a Foreign Language
- 40% of Volunteers are active in malaria prevention activities
- Five Volunteers have attended an extensive international malaria training
- Benin Against Malaria (BAM) committee created in August 2013 to coordinate and promote malaria prevention activities and technical trainings for PCVs throughout the country
Malaria Prevention Activities
Education Campaigns: Â Volunteers continue to spread the word about malaria prevention and treatment through bike tours, radio, care groups, and murals. Our fourteen recently trained malaria teams will be planning and executing behavior change communication activities in their communities in 2014. These will include net repair and care demonstrations, net beautification, testing days, hanging demonstration, home visits and consultations, and games and songs to engage a variety of target populations.
Amour et Vie Teams: Â A Population Services International (PSI) program that is unique to Benin, Amour et Vie uses a peer education model to target youth with pertinent health messages concerning HIV/AIDS, STIs, family planning, diarrheal diseases, and malaria. There are 25 active Amour et Vie teams in Benin, each comprised of two high school students, one male and one female, and a community partner.
Â Peace Corps Benin is fighting malaria in collaboration with
Benin Project Highlight – Training Malaria Teams
In December 2013, PC/Benin and the Benin Against Malaria (BAM) committee invited three representatives from 14 different PCVsâ€™ villages to participate in a two-day training of trainers on malaria parasitology, the importance malaria prevention and bed net usage, care, repair, monitoring and evaluation, behavior change communication and the logistics of organizing a bed net distribution. In 2012 PC/Benin received 25,000 LLINs from the Presidentâ€™s Malaria Initiative (PMI), and one of the immediate priorities of the newly-created BAM committee was to develop a strategy for the distribution of these nets.
The training of trainers was the first phase of this distribution plan. BAM asked Peace Corps Volunteers across the country to select two students and one community member to become their villagesâ€™ Malaria Team (referred to â€œPalu Policiersâ€ or Malaria Police in French). These Malaria Teams were invited to the training in order to receive the necessary knowledge and skills to serve as malaria experts in their communities, and to conduct surveys that would give PC/Benin and BAM the essential statistics and data to determine how many nets to distribute to each of the participating villages. Based on the needs assessment, each village will receive a certain number of nets that will be distributed and then monitored by the Malaria Teams over a period of six months.
During those six months the Malaria Teams will also conduct behavior change activities — from testing days and photo murals to theater performances and net care and repair workshops — in order to reinforce the behaviors and attitudes imperative to make a net distribution campaign successful and sustainable. This distribution campaign is a pilot program, and one without precedence in Benin.