Weekly Awesome Burkina Faso: Promoting Good Bed Net Usage to a Low Literate Audience

The pictures in card board box help explain good bed net practices to low-literate audiences.

Clarissa Pape is a health volunteer posted in the eastern region of Burkina Faso. Upon arriving in her village in December 2011, she noticed that most people in her community had mosquito nets, but many were not properly using the nets. She noticed that some people did not hang their nets properly, many nets had small holes that could be easily repaired, and some nets were used for completely different usages such as fencing or covering vegetables.

Since April 2012, Clarissa has focused much of her work on researching mosquito net use in her community and educating the population about proper net use. Her village suffers from a low literacy rate. In order to overcome this obstacle, Clarissa created visual aids to be used as a survey tool. She constructed two boxes: one box with a picture of somebody sleeping under a mosquito net and one box with a picture of somebody sleeping without a mosquito net. Clarissa asks women to place a stone in either box depending on how they slept the night before. Then, Clarissa and her counterpart discuss malaria transmission, prevention techniques, and treatment strategies.

Clarissa has seen a difference in the general use of mosquito nets in her village. While she is not yet ready to release her evaluation of the project, she is believes the general culture of bed net usage in her village has begun to shift. She notices that more people taking care of their bed nets and using them properly. She plans to continue her study and education campaign in the future.

Clarisse Pape’s counterpart walks around with the visual aids during an education session about malaria and bed net usage.

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