So, remember the craziness that was World Malaria Month and the massive net distribution that the Benin Against Malaria committee conducted in Cotonou (Think Ladji(stics))? Well, the team recently went back to check on our nets and their recipients to determine whether they are being used properly and by whom. After postponing our follow up due to torrential rain, Ben, Evan and I set out to visit houses in the community with some of our local counterparts. Despite having to duck inside from another downpour (I bless the rains down in Africa), we were able to visit about 250 of the nets that were distributed. By using the CommCare application build for this distribution, we counted the age and gender of each net user, the quality of the net and whether it was actually being used.
In all, the distribution was a great success! People seem to be using the nets and understanding their importance. As always, following malaria rates over the next couple months will be the true measure of our success in behavior change. For more data, check out this little infographic I put together below!
Also, although I'm reluctant to release this publicly, I finally got my hands on the video from by malaria interview with BB24. Once you get past the blue eyeshadow and pink lipstick that the makeup artist threw on me minutes before going on camera, it's a pretty good piece of journalism marking the malaria efforts across the country including those by Peace Corps. So, for your viewing pleasure, here is my infamous Beninese TV debut:
Although World Malaria Month is over, the Benin Against Malaria committee and Peace Corps Volunteers across Benin remain committed to the fight against malaria. Stay tuned for more malaria updates and highlights of our work!