April 25 is known as World Malaria Day and here at IDYDC as we have done before, we hosted an event in Mafinga Iringa. First the main objective is to provide awareness and education about malaria. We want people to understand key malaria prevention concepts including transmission, prevention methods, and the life cycle of the disease. Also to help participants understand how they can educate youth to practice healthy behaviors.
All this is made possible by our collaboration with Grassroot Soccer (GRS). Together the two organizations (IDYDC & GRS) have designed ZINDUKA Kupitia SOKA, malaria and HIV/AIDS prevention, life skills and health education program for Tanzanian youth aged 10-14.
Zinduka Kupitia Soka World Malaria Day 2017
Different guests from Mafinga District including school teachers, parents, guardians, members of the community participated and students as our key target for the event. We also had a special guest from the government, the coordinator of Malaria at Mufindi district. Support from school teachers from different schools was vital to allow their students to participate at the event
More than 1200 people attended the event, including: 400 students from three different primary schools: Ndolezi, Upendo and Wambi.
500 people were tested for malaria most of them primary school students because they were our priority. All tests were negative except for only one person who tested positive. The coordinator of malaria provided the person who tested positive for malaria with an insecticide treated bed net and malaria medicine to start treatment. 120 bed nets were distributed during the event.
The event featured different activities throughout the day. The planned activities were a football tournament and other games involving boys and girls. Also all-day testing/malaria information booth, and two malaria activities from the ZINDUKA curriculum.
Kick Out Malaria
The first activity was the Grassroot Soccer Skillz practice. This is demonstration on fighting malaria through the use of bed nets (Bed Net Ball). The second activity was an adaptation on the Grassroots Soccer Skillz curriculum ‘facts and nonsense’ activity involving the myths and truth about malaria.
The teams consisted of an equal number of girls and boys and were from a mix of all schools. Finally the event ended with a football match and other games for teams to partake in.
Malaria coordinator from the government gave us full support by giving us 80 free bed nets. In total we distributed 120 bed nets to the World Malaria Day event participants.
This event provided an opportunity to give information about malaria treatment and prevention through the Grassroot Soccer program. It also gave access to free health services for community members, while enjoying the game of soccer and engaging students in fun and educational activities. More than 1200 people including students, teachers, staff, and other community members participated.