World Malaria Day Net Care and Repair Event

Materials

(Amounts vary based on how many participants you anticipate attending your event- Use your best judgment. These amounts are based on having around 50 participants)

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  • 25 sewing needles
  • 10 bars of soap (each cut into four pieces)
  • 10 medium sized wash basins
  • 1 spool of rope (for hanging the nets)
  • 36 clothes pins
  • 1 notebook and pen
  • 1 large spool of string
  • Benches and chairs (as available to you)
  • Mats/ground coverings for the repair station

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Set up

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  • We held the event under a large shade tree that is near the entrance of the village and not far from a well.
  • One of the local health workers swept the area before laying several large mats on the ground (this was the “repair area”).
  • Six (6) of the wash basins (benoirs) were filled with water and set up in two rows (this was the “wash area”). The remaining four (4) wash basins were also filled with water, but were placed a little ways away from the wash area. These were for rinsing the nets.
  • Several chairs and benches were set up around the perimeter.
  • Three chairs were set aside for the drummers. There was a large open space in front of them for people to dance and also for the theater troupe to perform.
  • The rope was run between branches of the tree to be used as lines for the nets to dry. We had five set up, but we still ran out of space.
  • Cut the string into 1-2meter long pieces to hand out.
  • Cut each bar of soap into four pieces.
  • Have drinking water available near the check-in station.

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Process

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  • Have several stations set up. One for each of the following: check-in, repairing, washing, rinsing, drying, and dancing/socializing.
  • When someone arrives at the event, they must first go to the “check-in station.” There, they answered the following questions for the purpose of Monitoring and Evaluating (Tailor these questions to your post as needed):
    a. Name
    b. Village
    c. Household
    d. Number of nets brought to the event
    e. For each net:
    i. How many people sleep under the net
    ii. How old is each person who sleeps under the net
    iii. When/How was the net received (i.e. 2010, distribution)
    iv. Where is the net hung
    v. Whether or not the net had ever been repaired before. If it had, how had it been repaired (tied, patched, sewn)
    vi. How many holes/tears does the net have and where are they on the net.
  • After the check-in station, the participant is given one needle and one piece of thread. They are then told that they will receive soap when they return the needle and also that if they need additional string, they just need to ask. Also, the person assisting with the repair station should have a supply of string to hand out.
  • The participant goes to the repair station and repairs their net.
  • Next, the net can either be hung at the event or they can bring their net home to dry. If they choose to hang it at the event, the person who is helping out at the drying station will assist them in hanging the net and will lend them two clothes pins.
  • Throughout the event, drums were playing in the background. I would highly recommend this-most of the women enjoyed dancing while waiting for their nets to dry.
  • About half way through the event, the local theater troupe performed a series of educational sketches about malaria, lasting about 15 minutes.
    Additional Notes

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  • The event ran from about 8am until 2pm.
  • I held the event in the morning, in the shade. We offered to continue the events into the afternoon, but no one came after lunch.
  • I invited the theater troupe and local health workers a couple of weeks in advance since the members live in several different villages. I checked in with them periodically to make sure they were on board.
  • I gave everyone two days notice to the event. Everyone who came to the event who didn’t hear about the event from me personally said that a neighbor or friend told them about the event. I suggested that one woman from every compound come as a representative to wash and repair their nets. Overall, I thought this went well, except for the few exceptions that brought upwards of five nets. Those women seemed overwhelmed with the amount of work and would have benefitted from having another member of the compound there to help her.
  • When considering where to hold the event, it is important to consider where the closest water source is, as the wash basins will need to be refilled frequently throughout the event. It is also important that the participants are comfortable, therefore, provide shade and seating.
  • I would highly recommend having at least one local health worker or one PCV assisting with each station.
  • I would also suggest either having some way of associating each net with its owner or telling each person that they are responsible for their nets. We did have a small problem of a few nets being stolen.
  • I couldn’t pay anyone a per diem (due to the fact that this was not a grant funded event), so I bought everyone who assisted with the event (including the theater troupe) lunch afterwards. For the people who assisted with each of the stations, they were all given one wash basin to take home. Everyone seemed happy with this compromise- I didn’t get any complaints.
  • A couple of people in the village complained that lunch was not offered at the event, but it didn’t seem to deter anyone from coming.
  • In order to maintain supplies, the system of requiring the needles to be returned in exchange for soap worked well. Only five needles went missing throughout the entire event, which I would consider a success considering the number of participants and how hectic it was at times.

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Results for Net Repair and Care Event:

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  • On World Malaria Day (April 25, 2012) 51 participants came to the Sare Coly Salle Health Post in the Kolda region of Senegal. While the vast majority of participants were women, two men also attended. 40 participants were from Sare Coly Salle, 4 from St. Mandou and St. Passa, and 1 from Sare Yoba, Keneba Yero and Passa Maounde. All of these villages are within a 1 kilometer of Sare Coly Salle.
  • 135 of the nets had never before been repaired. Of the 11 that had been repaired, 8 had been sewn and 6 had been knotted. 30 of the nets were in good condition and did not have need for repair, therefore they were just washed.  Of the nets that needed repair, 25 had small holes and 24 had big holes. These holes were located mainly on the bottom (74) , seams (20), and top (10). 72 had extensive holes covering a large area of the net.
  • A total of 146 mosquito nets were brought to repair and wash. On average, 2.9 nets were brought per person. On average, 2.6 people were reported to sleep under each net. The reported ages of the people who slept under the net are as follows:

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Ages

# Under Nets

<1 year

16

1-5 years

129

6-15 years

134

16-25 years

42

26-35 years

42

36-45 years

24

46-55 years

6

56-65 years

65+ years

4

1

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  • Every net was said to be hung inside their hut or room, over a bed. Due to this event, nets used by a total of 382 people are now repaired and cleaned and therefore are more effective. These nets were largely received at the 2010 distribution (142), however, 2 nets were bought in 2009 and two others were bought in 2007.

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