Capitalizing on the use of Senegal as the training site for the Malaria Boot Camps, Peace Corps Senegal has sent a total of 8 volunteers and 1 staff member to the Boot Camp training. Those volunteers have led regional and national trainings for their peers, training 250 volunteers (100% of the PCVs in country). Of those 250, over 150 volunteers have participated in malaria prevention activities from neem lotion demonstrations to malaria awareness tourneys. Many have done home visits to raise their communities’ understanding of the symptoms and treatments of malaria, the important of seeking treatment, and how to use and maintain mosquito nets. Others have brought those same lessons into classrooms. Many have been involved in the country’s campaign to deliver enough bed nets to cover every bed in every village across Senegal.
During Stomping Out Malaria in Africa’s first year, the Government of Senegal continued their national universal coverage LLIN campaign, covering the Regions of St. Louis and Matam. In both regions, volunteers played a key role in their communities, and with their local health structures, supporting transportation logistics, training, and EIC outreach in conjunction with the distribution. Additionally, in the Kédougou region, volunteers distributed 2880 nets to fill in the gaps from nets damaged or lost since their universal coverage campaign in 2009.
Volunteers worked closely with Malaria No More to extend a 7 day malaria prevention curriculum for middle and elementary school children. Malaria No More also runs the innovative Nightwatch radio program – a series of radio PSAs by trusted celebrities reminding families to use their LLINs every night. Volunteers have been working to place Nightwatch PSAs on their local community radio stations and increase the brand awareness around the campaign.
In the north of Senegal, the malaria prevalence is low and the Government of Senegal is working with the MACEPA project to develop an SMS-based rapid response program for malaria outbreak control and eventual elimination. Peace Corps Senegal has assigned a volunteer to MACEPA who is working to train local community health workers in how to use the java-based SMS platform.
Moving into Stomping Out Malaria in Africa’s second year, Peace Corps Senegal will look to expand collaboration with NetWorks, MACEPA, and Malaria No More. Malaria No More recently launched their Speak Up Africa campaign to increase the visibility of local malaria prevention efforts, and Peace Corps Senegal will assign a volunteer to assist in web design, and media communications. Volunteers will continue to contribute to the universal coverage campaign as it moves to the final regions of the country – Thies and Dakar – and support their local clinics system of routine distribution. Peace Corps Senegal is also working to develop a new pilot model for the use of Masters International Volunteers in malaria prevention. 4 MI students have been recruited to serve in specially chosen regional centers where they will support the work of their regional or district hospital as well as support the volunteers assigned to clinics within the hospital’s catchment zone.