Peace Corps Benin
- 104 Volunteers serving in the sectors of Rural Community Health, Community Economic Development, Environmental Health, and Teaching English as a Foreign Language
- 31% of Volunteers trained in malaria prevention
- Five Volunteers have attended an extensive international malaria training
- Two staff members dedicated to malaria prevention training and activities
Malaria Prevention Activities
Education Campaigns: Volunteers create and broadcast malaria radio shows expanding the malaria message to hard-to-reach rural communities. Volunteers also engage in health talks in their communities and have taken their malaria message campaign on the road with bike tours.
Research and Innovation: Volunteers are involved in diverse research projects including:
- A study of insecticide-treated net possession and usage in rural Northern Benin
- Research on the implications of readily available, non-prescribed antimalarial drugs
- An evaluation of the effectiveness of care groups in influencing malaria prevention practices
- An examination of the determinants of malaria infection and vector capacity during the dry season
Peace Corps Benin is fighting malaria in collaboration with
Benin Project Highlight – Malaria Bike Caravan
Peace Corps Volunteers often plan malaria education bike tours. All Volunteers are issue bicycles during their service. On these tours, Volunteers travel from village to village to educate community members about a number of topics, ranging from women’s empowerment, to good nutrition, and malaria. Bike tours serve as an opportunity to extend the malaria message beyond Volunteers’ respective villages and to a larger population with minimal costs. In February 2013, nine Peace Corps Volunteers and two counterparts embarked upon a five-day bike tour through the Mono and Couffo regions of Benin. The focus of the tour was malaria education and prevention. Specifically, they focused their message to promote early care-seeking behavior. Volunteers created visual aids to help explain the messages.
The use of visual aids helped reach illiterate audiences. They also demonstrated how to make neem lotion, a natural mosquito repellant lotion. The communities provided the meeting space and lodging for the Volunteers and their counterparts. In addition to sharing life-saving malaria information, Volunteers and their counterparts also introduced the community members to their community health worker trained by Africare (a health-focused NGO). Each visit finished with traditional song and dance. Volunteers taught each visited community a malaria clap song, which involves killing ‘hypothetical’ mosquitoes. Community members loved learning the song and the visual of swatting mosquitoes really tied the message together. Overall, 20 villages were visited reaching about 2,000 people with malaria messaging.