DRAMA AS A COMMUNITY ENGAGEMEMT STRATAGY FOR PREVENTION OF THE SCOURGE OF MALARIA IN RURAL YALA.
Malaria is declining but transmission persists in many rural areas and among rural dwellers and isolated populations. In remote communities, conventional health services and education are limited. Mobilising and educating these populations require new approaches as many people are illiterate and do not attend village meetings. This work assess
Malaria remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality world-wide, especially in pregnant women and children, and particularly in tropical Africa, where at least 90% of the malaria deaths occur. Yet
During the last decade, new medicines and approaches have been developed for malaria case management, for selective vector control and for epidemic detection and control. Malaria has become integrated into other health programmes and partnerships have been increased both internationally and nationally by the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Initiative instigated by
A key project objective was to build the capacity of community-based structures to enable them engage in behaviour change communication activities in relation to malaria prevention at the community level. The aim was to:
> Increase knowledge among families and communities concerning malaria, its transmission and understanding that the mosquito is the only vector of malaria
> Promote communities’ uptake of malaria prevention methods, including the correct and consistent use of long lasting insecticidal mosquito nets, allowing indoor residual spraying in their homes, and uptake of intermittent preventive treatment by pregnant women at antenatal care services
> Increase timely healthcare seeking at health facilities or from trained community health workers for the diagnosis and treatment forthose with signs and symptoms of malaria.
Yala is a Local Government Area in Cross River State, Nigeria. Its headquarters are in the town of Okpoma in the east of the area at 6°35′35″N 8°38′01″E.
It has an area of 1,739 km² and a population of 210,843 at the 2006 census.1. This makes Yala the second most populated LGA in Cross River State, coming after Akpabuyo. The postal code of the area is 550.2
The dominant tribe
Other major tribes in Yala Local Government Area are, Igede-Edii (Anyadaha, Anyugbe, Eminyi, Ibilla, Igbakobor and Opiriku), Itekpa, Gabu, Ukele and Yache. They speak Igede, Ukelle
THE COMMUNITY DRAMA ENGAGEMENT PROGRAMME.
The drama project combined Yala drama, art, music workshops and village concerts and competitions to provide health education in a fun and
PLANNING AND INVOLVING RURAL DWELLERS
All projects involve local stakeholders at the local and village level. In the drama project, local leaders and community were involved in its planning and implementation.The team first introduced the project
Professional drama performers were recruited to ensure a professional outing. A series of workshops were organised to train the team on the malaria messages to incorporate into the drama performance. The final main script, storyline
In each village, the team and village leaders met with the dwellers to explaine the purpose of the project and to introduce the activities involved. Key opinion leaders in each village played an active role throughout the project development and progress.
DRAMA WORKSHOP AND PERFORMANCES.
The project comprised a series of three-day
SOME CHALLENGES TO DRAMA AS COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY.
Due to the timing of the project, the study was conducted before the rainy season. Travelling from one village to another was considerably slower and everything took longer. Performance dates were often rescheduled due to the degraded road conditions. The tidous nature of the road made it difficult for villagers to participate in the drama workshops and performance. Malaria incidence occurs throughout the year but most malaria cases are confined to the months during or directly after the rainy season; it would have been more appropriate to deliver the malaria messages before the rainy season begins. Using printed media such as leaflets and posters to raise malaria awareness, may therefore be less successful in these areas. In developing countries, folk media such as folk songs, dramas, puppet shows and dance have been used as community engagement strategies for health education and to encourage research participation 13– 15. Yala dramas
UNDERSTANDING AND LEARNING ABOUT MALARIA USING DRAMA
To assess if the project can be used to convey the three key messages
When asked about the drama, villagers faced no difficulty recapitulating the storyline, which comprised two main characters, one of whom slept under a bednet while the other slept without protection. The latter contracted malaria and went to meet the
Some villagers said that the drama would bring about behavioural changes in their daily lives. Compared with before the drama, solely relying on mosquito nets, they would now use mosquito repellents during the day. Men who go to the forest would bring mosquito nets with them and wear long-sleeved clothing.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE AND ENGAGEMENT METHOD PREFRENCES.
The drama performance was described as funny and entertaining
DRAMA WITHIN A COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY
Community engagement is increasingly recognized as integral to successful and ethical health-related research
Interviewee: “For me, I really think this is very valuable for the community.”
Interviewer: “Really, uncle? So it provides benefits for the community?”
Interviewee: “Yes, it really does. And recently people have
During the focus group discussion, youths felt that they learned how to perform in public and to express their thoughts. They further requested for materials related to ways of preventing malaria so that they could spread such awareness in schools. At the end of the project, video recordings and photos of the workshops and performances in the form of DVDs were distributed to all village leaders as souvenirs. All photos and videos were taken at public places and with formal written permission from the national and provincial authorities
Everybody needs to know
Stay inside mosquito nets, Everybody needs to know
Prevent mosquitoes from hunting; Stay alive, do not miss the mosquito net.
We conclude that although there were many challenges, village drama and its associated activities such as competitions and workshops is feasible as a community engagement strategy. Audience members recalled the plot of the performance and the malaria-related messages, indicating that the key messages were clear and concrete. Villagers perceived drama as entertaining and as the preferred choice of community engagement activity. Using drama is a promising way to engage communities and could be considered as part of the community engagement for malaria elimination.
Tindana PO, Singh JA, Tracy CS, et al. : Grand challenges in global health: community engagement in research in developing countries. PLoS Med. 2007;4(9):e273. 10.1371/journal.pmed.0040273
Atkinson JA, Vallely A, Fitzgerald L, : 2011)The architecture and effect of participation: a systematic review of community participation for communicable disease control and elimination. Implications for malaria elimination. Malar J. 2011;10:225. 10.1186/1475-2875-10-225
National Institute of Statistics, Directorate General for Health, ICF International: (2015) Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey 2014. National Institute of Statistics, Directorate General for Health, and ICF International: Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and Rockville, Maryland, USA.
Mobilising communities for malaria prevention and control in Mozambique