Mimi Gets Malaria, and Other Fairy Tales

27 Apr

For World Malaria Day I took over my sitemate’s English class to teach a group of 7th graders about malaria. Because we wanted to teach both health and English we put together a reading comprehension lesson using C-Change (a Behavior Change Communication strategy organization)’s storybook for kids about a girl named Mimi who gets sick with malaria.

Reading Mimi's story to the kids

Reading Mimi’s story to the kids

The book was specially formulated for Ethiopian kids with character’s like Bitika and Litika the malarial mosquitos (female anopheles variety of course), and Mimi being told to finish her entire round of medication without sharing with family members (a common problem here and the source of drug resistant and recurring strains). The story went through transmission (Bitika and Litika live in a pond that appeared during rainy season), symptoms (always go the health center if you have a fever!), treatment (take ALL your medicine), and prevention (both bed nets and spraying). Plus we coloured in the pictures and put it on bright construction paper so y’know… it’s cool.

Got some help from Morgan, the English teacher – Peace Corps Ethiopia G7

Got some help from Morgan, the English teacher – Peace Corps Ethiopia G7

Cross sector activities for the win! Here were was our lesson for the day:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After practicing both listening and reading comprehension we went over some of the details of the health content. A question that came up was whether you could get HIV from a mosquito bite, since they suck your blood. Logical, but luckily (unluckily?) the H in HIV stands for Human so the virus dies inside a mosquito, and they can’t transmit it.

This kid used his science textbook to draw his mosquito

This kid used his science textbook to draw his mosquito

Using what they learned, we had the kids work in groups to make posters about the transmission and prevention of malaria. At the beginning when asked, only 1 student said he had a bed net in his house. At the end, the kids all wanted to know when to get a malaria net for their families (answer- health centers).

World Malaria Day in English and Amharic

World Malaria Day in English and Amharic

In Ethiopia, 68 percent of the country is officially a malaria zone, especially the lowlands. But as global warming contributes to crazier weather and mosquitoes migrating higher, highland areas on the malaria line (like Gondar) are seeing more cases. Days like World Malaria Day remind people that conditions can change, and awareness is the first step in prevention.

Here are the posters the kids came up with. Explanations in the captions:

They loved that book! Left it in the library for the future.

They loved that book! Left it in the library for the future.

Bed Nets are the best prevention
Bed Nets are the best prevention

Working hard!

Working hard!

These kids were gobez! The pond in the bottom has the life cycle of the mosquito while the one house without the net has a sick person, the house with the bed net is cool, and they drew the health center!

These kids were gobez! The pond in the bottom has the life cycle of the mosquito while the one house without the net has a sick person, the house with the bed net is cool, and they drew the health center!

Malaria transmission and prevention

Malaria transmission and prevention

This poster was location specific- Malaria in Gondar! (hence the castles)

This poster was location specific- Malaria in Gondar! (hence the castles)

This mosquito had malaria... it also maybe took some acid

This mosquito had malaria… it also maybe took some acid

4 Responses to “Mimi Gets Malaria, and Other Fairy Tales”

  1. Maureen Crozier April 27, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

    Great photos!

  2. apronheadlilly April 28, 2013 at 2:36 am #

    http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf99273276.tip.html

    Here is the link to making the mosquito trap.

    • Dan May 1, 2013 at 12:18 am #

      Yay! Quick correction: the book was written by C-Change, not CCL (want to keep our partners acknowledged). But a mosquito on acid will turn those colors…I’ve seen it!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Iron Chef Challenge: World Malaria Day | Wanderings and Wonderings - April 27, 2013

    [...] malaria prevention in ten minutes. But it didn’t stop there, later I co-opted an English class (cross sector learning!) and at the end of the day the biology teacher said he had the kids labeling the parts of the [...]

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