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Author: Jessica Byassee
Tags: Chumo , malaria education , malaria prevention
Peace Corps Volunteers in Tanzania recently came together for a regional educational workshop to learn how they can help stop the spread of malaria. More than 20 PCVs traveled from their villages in the Tanga, Pemba, Kilimanjaro and Arusha regions.
Through insightful sessions and hands-on field trips, volunteers from the education, environment and health sectors learned strategies to monitor, evaluate and inspire correct bednet usage; plan and execute malaria prevention activities; and train community health workers and community members.
Nassoro Ally, Health APCD for PC TZ, in addition to Carol Sevin, Carolyn Rhodebeck and Nicole Sherman, PC Malaria Coordinators, conducted the three-day workshop. Representatives from Population Services International (PSI) and Medicine Education Africa (MEA) also presented during the workshop.
Sessions included Malaria in Tanzania and Malaria Science. With a focus on behavior change, participants garnered the ability to dispel myths about treatment and transmission of malaria in their community. They also became proficient in the use of technical and scientific terminology through examining the life-cycle of malaria found in humans and the anopheles mosquito. With better understanding of the science behind parasitic diseases, volunteers are more empowered to drive out falsified ideas surrounding malaria.
During a session on Audacity, volunteers learned how to use the audio software to launch mass media activities in their community. Participants explored innovative ways to use both technology and creativity as a means of malaria outreach and prevention. Each volunteer was able to download the Audacity and Lame software as well as connect with the local radio station of Tanga “Breeze FM” for future collaborations.
Participants went into the field to visit a secondary boarding school and a village home to learn about their malaria knowledge and implemented prevention strategies. They then toured a village shop to learn about net sales as well as a pharmacy and a health clinic to learn about medicines used in the region and patient statistics.
A Cinema Night was also held in a village one night to show Chumo, a short film about malaria in pregnancy. This product of Johns Hopkins University Center for Communications Programs, USAID and Media for Development International Tanzania is a popular tool among PCVs in Tanzania.
PCVs left the workshop with a district/regional action plan for malaria work with activities reaching all members of their village. Most importantly, they learned it is possible to eliminate malaria village by village as well as gained the confidence to be a resource for malaria activities in their community.