On the 25th April 2016 in Lafia, Nasarawa State, Northwestern Nigeria, HC3 Nigeria joined in the global commemoration of World Malaria Day. A meeting was held with the next generation of malaria leaders, the students of Government Secondary School in Tudun Amba, Nasarawa State. The aim was to educate young people about malaria and motivate them to join the movement to #EndMalariaForGood.
HC3 used an entertainment-education approach to teach students about the correct cause of malaria and the steps to protect themselves and their families, such as consistently sleeping under a bed net and seeking care at the first sign of fever. The students watched clips from the Newman Street Drama Series and then danced and sang along to the National Malaria Theme Song.
A demonstration on how to properly use and care for nets was also done, while some students received nets for active participation during the event.
Providing correct education is incredibly important for these students. Despite the fact that malaria is both preventable and treatable, most people in Tudun Amba are not accustomed to constant net use. The burden of malaria is felt beyond Tudun Amba, as malaria accounts for up to 60% of outpatients visits and 30% of hospital admissions in Nigeria. But looking at the students’ excitement gives us hope that, they can also play their part even as everyone works together, so we can #EndMalariaForGood.
In Their Own Words: Impact of the Event on the Students
“I have learnt how to prevent myself from malaria. I don’t sleep in the mosquito net at home all the time but now, I will sleep in it always. I will also tell people in my area.”
– Faith Joseph, 10th grade
“I learnt today that malaria kills a lot of people like Andy in the film. I will start using the mosquito net immediately and tell my junior brothers to do so too.”
– Nurudeen Abubakar, 9th grade
“I have experienced malaria before, it started with headache and fever but I didn’t go to the hospital until after three days. Now that I know how dangerous it is, I will always go to the hospital immediately.”
– Chiemela Urenwoke, 11th grade