Today is World Malaria Day. Malaria has a special significance in Tanzania. Malaria is Tanzania's top killer. Malaria has an every day presence here: mosquito nets, anti-malarial pills, bug spray. Not every one is as lucky to have access to such things to protect themselves, though. I've known too many people that have suffered from malaria. One of my Form III students last year was hospitalized from cerebral malaria. It changed him. He started as one of my top students and after the disease had run it's course, he could not read or write and his personality had changed. So much of this suffering could be prevented through simple education and behavior change. Use you net. Go get tested early. Take your full prescription of medicine. Unfortunately, this is not the happening.
To celebrate World Malaria Day at school, we borrowed a projector from a nearby school, and gathered all of the students to watch "Chumo." This is an educational, yet entertaining, film about malaria that was specifically made for Tanzania. The kids loved it! Watching my students watch this movie was like watching people at a live sporting event. They cheered for the good guy, booed at the bad guy, and laughed at some really weird stuff. Watching them was entertainment enough for me. All I can hope is that they took some valuable lessons away and will take measures to protect themselves an their families.
|All the students gathering to watch 'Chumo"|
|My headmaster leading the pre-viewing discussion about malaria|
Happy World Malaria Day everyone!