Boot camp attendees took no break on this Saturday and the fourth day of malaria boot camp V. The day was filled with country presentations, a session on behavior change, a presentation about bed nets, and an introduction to HIV/AIDS and malaria.
The morning started off with country presentations from participants from Burkina Faso and Madagascar. The presenters shared about the malaria prevalence in their respective countries, what interventions are underway, and what Peace Corps Volunteers are currently doing to stomp out malaria.
Peace Corps Senegal’s Deputy of Training and Programing (DTP) Vanessa Dickey addressed the challenges of behavior change in communities. She explained how various determinants can influence an individual’s behavior and pointed out that often times, information alone is not enough to influence behavior. Vanessa explained the various stages of change and how different tools are needed at different stages.
Vanessa also presented tools for understanding and strategizing behavior change. She explained how different types of formative research could help you understand behavioral determinants and develop appropriate interventions. Participants broke into groups and conducted their own doer/non-doer barrier analysis based on exercise habits. The groups analyzed their data and developed unique strategies to encourage and influence behavior change within their communities.
Melissa Sharer, the Director of Programing and Training at OGHH, presented after lunch about HIV/AIDS. Many of the countries that Stomp works in also have a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Volunteers have to be especially diligent to impress upon malaria prevention in these countries because people living with HIV/AIDS are more at risk to falling victim to severe malaria. Melissa explained the basic science of the disease, transmission, and the most common current interventions. Next week, participants will receive a visit from an expert on HIV/AIDS and malaria co-infection.
Joan Schubert wrapped up the first week of boot camp V with a session about bed net distributions. Joan is the Senegal Director for NetWorks, a program of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Communications Program and serves as the primary implementing partner for bed net distributions in Senegal. Joan walked participants through the steps of organizing a universal distribution and addressed various challenges and strategies. She addressed the key activities that are necessary for successful campaign: advocacy, access, communication, and operational research. She also demonstrated how to transform a square bed net into a circular bed net.
[cudazi_iconlist_icon icon=’slide32.png’ heading=’Download Presentation’ text=’Networks Universal Bed Net Distributions’ link=’https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B856lgSy9P4DUTE0NnJLeG1Yc2c’%5D
This was a strong finish to the first week of boot camp V. Participants are ready to enjoy a day off tomorrow at the beach and will come back revitalized and ready for a busy second week on Monday.