Young people in Ibusa, Nigeria use drama to combat malaria
The Youth Ambassadors with support from HMI implemented a project centered on mobilizing vulnerable communities for malaria prevention through drama and inter-personal communication. Malaria is a major public health concern in our communities and in Nigeria as a whole. It is obvious that malaria is a big issue in our great nation with the most vulnerable people being children, youth and pregnant women and it is one of the leading causes of illnesses and absenteeism in schools, offices, and in market places, yet it is a treatable and completely preventable disease. This strategy has been found to be quite successful in educating a large percentage of population on malaria prevention. Our target and focus has extended from children under age of 5 and pregnant women to general populace, children, women and men with the aim of creating demand for available services, sensitizing community members and promoting health-seeking behaviour among others
The team paid an advocacy visit to the community elder of Achalla, Diokpa Okorji and his wife. He welcomed and embraced the new development in the community after introduction and our mission in Achalla. From his speech we were made to understand that malaria is rampant and his people complain about the disease. Our team members assured him of disseminating factual information on causes, signs and symptoms, preventive measures and treatment to the community members. With this information they are empowered to make decision and take action against malaria.
The team also met with Eke Market Association in Umujei with the same information. The team helped them to understand and corrected some misconceptions about malaria. Some people said malaria is course by working under the sun, taking too much of red oil, witchcraft, etc all these are addressed during the visit.
The drama was designed to sensitize and educate the community people on the causes, symptoms, prevention and treatment of malaria. During the drama, there was demonstration of LLIN as one of preventive measures with emphasis on sleeping under it. Also ACTs- ‘coartem’ - for effective treatment for the disease.