Sean Blaufuss is a Health Peace Corps Volunteer in Western Region, Ghana. For six months, he has been working the Sefwi Asawinso Secondary School’s Future Health Leaders Club. Working in partnership with the school staff, specifically Assistant Headmaster Prince Djido, Sean formed the group in February 2012. The club aims to educate students interested in becoming health professionals on releveant health topics. Previous topics have included water borne disease prevention and reproductive health. The club meets once a week and is open to Form 2 and Form 3 students. Currently, 15 students participate in the club. Recently, Sean taught the club about malaria.
On July 18th, 2012, the club took their knowledge of malaria to Mighty Arms Preparatory School, a primary school. Thirteen Club members split off and served as peer educators to the six classes at MAPS . Each team presented to a different class room about malaria parasite transmission and preventative methods. The team used tools from the Peace Corps Ghana SWAT bucket, which they were trained on prior to the presentations. Specifically, they used the High Risk-Low Risk activity cards which have pictures and corresponding questions for specific behaviors related to malaria control and the Behavioral Change Support Project (BCS project) malaria informational flipchart for group discussion. 188 primary school students participated in the peer-led malaria education sessions. The peer education session lasted 80 minutes. The feedback from the event was positive: the primary students enjoyed the lessons and interaction with the Health Leaders and the Health Leaders profited in the opportunity to practice their leadership skills and display their malaria knowledge.
The Headmaster of Asawinso Secondary School would like the club to continue in the 2012-13 academic year. Sean and the students are working on developing relationships with more primary and junior high schools to enable more community outreach for the Health Leaders. Local nurses will also feature more in the second year, as the club aims for more work in the community and a sustainable future.