WORLD MALARIA DAY!
[April 25, 2014]
With my Club GLOW [Girls&Guys Leading Our World] Student Leaders, we planned our second event: a Malaria Lesson [to STOMP OUT MALARIA] for 20 other 7th grade students. [Check out our first event on Social Challenges / Gender Inequality.] Unfortunately malaria [a preventable and curable disease] is still a huge problem and a leading cause of death in Ethiopia. So what did we do on World Malaria Day?
We opened the program with a game of Malaria Freeze Tag, a fun and interactive way to illustrate 3 key messages: 1) malaria is transferred by a mosquito, 2) sleeping under a bet net protects from malaria, and 3) malaria medicine should be taken promptly. Then we challenged the students with [TRUE or FALSE? What do you know about malaria?]. Many students were surprised to learn that malaria exists in other parts of the world - not just Africa - and that malaria kills a child every 45 seconds.
Next, the Student Leaders performed a skit on how malaria transfers: a hungry Anopheles mosquito bites an infected person, then travels into a neighbor’s home, and bites a new person, who is not sleeping under a bed net! But the Anopheles mosquito cannot bite and transmit malaria to another home, where everyone was sleeping under a bed net. Afterwards, we had a demonstration on how to properly use a bed net, and the Student Leaders emphasized that you must always check that there are no rips / tears / holes.
Then we read out loud together:
FACTS ABOUT MALARIA
1. Malaria is a preventable, but life-threatening disease that can kill you and your dreams.
2. Malaria is transmitted only by a special kind of mosquito - called the Anopheles mosquito - which primarily bites at night.
3. Malaria symptoms are fever, chills, headache, vomiting, and other flu-like symptoms.
4. Malaria should be treated immediately. If you think you or someone in your family might have malaria, visit a health clinic as soon as possible. They have a test to tell if you have malaria.
5. Malaria has been eliminated in much of the world, through the use of insecticides, medicine, and by sleeping under mosquito nets.
6. Malaria is preventable and curable. You have the power to end malaria deaths in your community, in your country, and throughout Africa.
To close our program, we all signed our names on three different posters: FIGHT THE BITE, USE A MOSQUITO NET EVERY NIGHT, and STOMP OUT MALARIA. The students that participated in this program promised to share their knowledge and malaria facts to their family and friends, because we have the power to end malaria deaths in our communities.
This has been the efforts of the students of Leku Primary School, Ethiopia, to Stomp Out Malaria.