Weekly Awesome Madagascar: Volunteer Spotlight: Teena Curry

In her first two years while living in Amparafaravola which is located in the Lac Alaotra region of Madagascar, PCV Teena Curry with the youth group painted a mural depicting the malaria transmission cycle and the importance of sustained LLIN use. By the end of the event, 15 members of the youth group were trained in explaining the importance of LLIN use and how to properly care for mosquito nets and one or two performed sensitizations to community members while the others painted. The painting of the mural was combined with other community education events during the week of World Malaria Day including 2 neem cream demonstrations and wall of fame project that featured photos of families who hung their net correctly and self-reported having slept under it every night. Other secondary projects during her first two years of service included preparing the curriculum for a behavior change communication training for 16 community health workers which included techniques for behavior change messages related to malaria prevention activities.

That’s just a few things that Teena did as a PCV from 2010 – 2012, she extended her service until October 2013.

She extended her service as a community health volunteer with Adra (Adventist Development Relief Organization) to assist the coordination of the health activities of the Strengthening and Accessing Livelihood Opportunities for Household Impact (SALOHI) Project in the district of Mananjary. Mananjary is located in the SudEst region of Madagascar. The entire eastern coast has the highest prevalence rate of malaria in children under 5, of 16.5% partly because the climate of the South Eastern region is very hot and humid throughout the year with an intense rainy and cyclone season about 3-5 months of the year.
This week of World Malaria Day, she went to one of the local orphanages to teach the kids a lesson about malaria prevention activities using a piñata shaped liked a mosquito. The goal of the game was to teach that in order to beat malaria everyone in the community needs to sleep under their net every night. On April 27th, the Mananjary youth group and Community Health Workers collaborated to host a malaria net care and repair event. There was a visual representation with rice sacks of how much malaria costs the community. The leader of the youth group; Mirary; explained that the costs are incurred from loss of income due to being sick and not working, cost of transportation to a community health center or hospital to treat malaria, and the price of medicines. We set up net care and repair stations where community members could come to wash and repair their nets. Community Health Workers and members of a local Youth Group taught residents how to properly care and repair their mosquito nets.

15 members of the Mananjary GBS (Groupe Biblique Secondaire) Youth Group were instrumental in the planning efforts of the event including creating radio messaging, preparing flyers, creating visuals for an information booth, choreographing and performing a dance skit at the net care and repair event. The Youth also helped teach community members the proper way to wash a net and hang a net to protect the net from future wear and tear. The goal of the dance was to encourage the continued use of mosquito nets and bring awareness about the importance of seeking treatment at the first sign of illness. The youth practiced the dance for several weeks leading up to the event and had a good audience of 40-50 people the first time they performed the dance. The youth performed the dance two other times during the net care and repair event and it was unexpected that they wanted to perform the malaria dance multiple times. This was good as it drew more people to come and see what was happening. Great work Teena! The dance is awesome. Check out the link below!

 

GBS Youth hold up circular mosquito net during a Global Youth Service Day and World Malaria Day celebration.
GBS Youth hold up a circular mosquito net during a Global Youth Service Day and World Malaria Day celebration.

Group Biblique Secondaire (GBS) Youth group perform malaria dance coinciding with Global Youth Service Day.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjHRCZTDBxw – Check out the Malaria Dance that the kids did.

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