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Cycling against Malaria!

Peace Corps Volunteers from all across Botswana recently cycled from Maun to Shakawe on a 2-week tour to advocate for malaria education! Along their 400 km route, they worked with the schools and clinics in each village to promote the most effective malaria prevention strategies. In Nokaneng, Peace Corps Volunteers helped to co-facilitate a 1-day Grassroot Soccer Malaria Camp for students with the Nokaneng Primary School teachers, as well as staff from the Nokaneng Clinic and Okavango DHMT.

During the last rainy season, Botswana experienced a huge outbreak of malaria cases. Nokaneng recorded 15 documented of cases of malaria in the village. In order to combat potential outbreaks in upcoming rainy seasons, it is important for EVERYONE to be educated, and to practice malaria prevention strategies. This is how we can eradicate malaria completely in Botswana!

90 students in Standards 6 and 7 participated in the Grassroot Soccer Malaria Camp in Nokaneng! The Grassroot Soccer Malaria program is a series of four interactive practices where students gain the knowledge, skills, and support to lead malaria free lives. The students learned about the importance of proper bed net usage, as well as other malaria prevention strategies. Students also gained a better understanding about how malaria is transmitted, the symptoms of malaria, and where to go in Nokaneng to most effectively be tested and treated if they think they are experiencing symptoms of malaria. At the end of the day, students were able to dispel common myths about malaria, and encouraged to educate others about malaria in Nokaneng.

Students then got the opportunity to practice this, by painting educational murals on buildings in Nokaneng to remind people about malaria and promote a more village wide discussion.

What are the symptoms of malaria?

Symptoms of malaria usually appear 7 to 30 days after an infectious mosquito bite and include:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

What do I do if I think I have malaria?

  • Visit a health care worker at your local clinic to be tested, treated, and cured.
  • Malaria can be cured! It is important to see a health care worker early for treatment, and to carefully follow the instructions for medication.

 

 

 

How can I best protect myself from malaria?

  • Sleep under a Long-Lasting Insecticidal Net, or bed net, every night!
  • Allow your home to be sprayed with insecticide.
  • Drain any stagnant water where mosquitos can breed.
  • Cut bushes and grasses around your house.
  • Stay indoors, if possible, and close your windows and doors at night.

 

Written by Allison C. Gerths

A Peace corps volunteer

 

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