Ghana PCV’S Come Together for World Malaria Day

By: Beth Davidson

The Tamale Outreach Event took place on April 26, 2012, from 3-5PM at the VIP bus station by the main taxi rink.  Initially, it was planned to hold the program at the Goil petrol station near the STC station, but problems arose and we had to move the location at the last minute.  The VIP staff was very accommodating – especially Mr. Abass, who ran interference for us the entire program and helped us with the electrical issues.

Many PCVs showed up to help – they were all very interested in the newly-formed malaria initiative and wanted to be a part of the first official regional event.  Those in attendance were:

Megan Kirby (Health, Water & Sanitation PCV)

Nathan Wilkinson (Health, Water & Sanitation PCV)

Beth Davidson (Health, Water & Sanitation PCV)

Sarah Wein (Agriculture PCV)

Josh Curry-Bascome (Agriculture PCV)

Mary Watson (Agriculture PCV)

Ran Sun (Agriculture PCV)

Dianah Hsieh (Agriculture PCV)

Lizzy Lyons (Health, Water & Sanitation PCV)

Katie Kirouac (Health, Water & Sanitation PCV)

Kristina Bittner (Health, Water & Sanitation PCV)

Carlee Nelson (Health, Water & Sanitation PCV)

Baba Nantogma (Tamale Sub-Office personnel)

We didn’t have any education PCVs, but that was because the event was being held during the week. In the future, we will work to accommodate those from all sectors, especially teachers (who don’t get to do many outreach projects).

The schedule was opening questions (with Beth Davidson and Baba Nantogma translating) about malaria knowledge, which led into demonstrations (by Mary Watson, Dianah Hsieh and Carlee Nelson) on how to open, care for, mend and hang LLINs in different ways.  There were questions from the crowd and comments from the audience.  Nathan Wilkinson used the high-risk/low-risk cards to prompt discussion and Ran Sun used the JHU BCS flip-book to illustrate topics mentioned in the discussion.  The rest of the volunteers milled about the crowd and had conversations with people one on one.  The end of the program was a discussion on how to make neem cream. Many people were interested and we sold about fifty containers for twenty pesewas a piece.

Issues we had during the program: we had to move three times because of various reasons, the lights kept going out so we lost the microphone and music, the space wasn’t adequate to do large demonstrations, it was too bright to show a video of how to make neem cream (around 5PM), very loud and distracting area, lots of stationary people (waiting for the bus) who were taking up space, but not interested in the program.

Things that went well: a lot of PCVs who were enthusiastic about the program, Mr. Abass helping every chance he got, Baba the translator helped for the second time – he is becoming more comfortable and enjoys doing the work, because of the stationary audience (waiting for the bus) a lot of people were able to stay throughout the program and ask a lot of questions. One woman was very intrigued by the way we were hanging the nets – we told her where she could buy them and she declared, “Right now I’m going home. Before this night I will hang my net like this. Thank you.”

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