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Author: Sanata Walsh
Tags: Mozambique , Volunteer Spotlight , World Malaria Day
For World Malaria Day 2012 (April 25th), PCV Tanya Riddle helped her organization Osivela wa Yesu (“For the Love of Jesus” in local language) organize a community fair to educate about malaria and raise awareness. Events began early in the morning with tables set up to educate the community about different kinds of malaria prevention. One table featured community tailors who explained how to take care of mosquito nets and sew torn nets to repair them. At another table, community health workers explained the uses of citronella and eucalyptus plants to repel mosquitoes, such as making oil and candles, burning the leaves, and rubbing the body with leaves and oil. A health educator at another table explained in detail the lifespan of a mosquito and how reducing the amount of stagnant water in the community can help reduce the mosquito population. Finally, another health educator discussed the importance of moringa to treat malnutrition and anemia (and therefore deter some of the worse effects of malaria).
From 9am to 11am several local groups performed songs, dances, and theater pieces related to malaria. The main messages were: use mosquito nets, go to the hospital when you feel symptoms of malaria, and clear areas of stagnant water. Two health educators presented an overview of malaria, explaining transmission, symptoms, treatment, and prevention. Approximately 600 community members attended the event.