The main objective of this project was to create HIV/AIDS and Malaria awareness amongst primary school pupils by actively involving the health scouts in the fight against HIV/AIDS and Malaria. Following the last report submitted to Global Giving about the celebration of World Aids Day in December 2011, the project has continued to achieve much success in the 20 primary schools selected pilot phase.
With the motto “Good Health for Quality Education “ the health scouts since creation have been functioning for 12 months, and following this time frame the children proved to have acquired much knowledge on HIV and Malaria prevention. This is established from the questions they ask during our visits, the sketches, poems and songs they create so as to share information about HIV/AIDS and Malaria Prevention as well as the evaluation conducted by the Knowledge for Children (KforC) team in the month of March to assess project impact. Thanks to the health club coordinators trained by KforC the health scouts were able to formulate an anthem with the primary message that their goal is to be for ever healthy so as to shine like stars in the sky.
The enthusiasm of the children towards this project is also noted through personal interviews with the health scouts.
Take for example Ngangeh Jule who is 10 years old and a class six pupils in GS Mbirboh. He has attended a KforC capacity building workshop on the importance of health clubs, has participated in the celebration of World Aids Day and now serves as a health club team leader in his school. He also aspires to be a manager when he grows up. When asked how he feels to be a health scout, he responded: “Good health for quality education is important because the only way we can stay in school and benefit from books is if we are healthy. I feel happy as I learn about the importance of abstinence from sex and also being able to talk to my friends about this.” Jule is also very excited to teach his friends the Love Check game which was donated by KforC to promote interactive HIV education among children. His last words were thanking KforC for making him a health scout and he promised to continue in this spirit when he goes to secondary school hopefully next academic year.
Secondly is Nchukwi Ruth, an 11 year old in class six of GS Kikaikelaki. Also a health club delegate in her school, she wants to be a doctor when she grows up. When asked how the health club project has benefited her, she said “I like the books given to us by KforC especially the one entitled the Sugar Daddy, the story about how a girl’s future is destroyed when she gets HIV from a sugar daddy has taught me a lesson about the importance of abstinence. I will make sure I do not have sex while I’m still in schools” Ruth also enjoys playing the Love Check game as well as playing sketches on HIV/AIDS and Malaria Prevention.
Nji Cletus is a class five teacher and the health club coordinator of GS Mbirboh. He has a passion for this project and this is what he says: “I like the motto of the health scouts. Good health for Quality Education. Children can only learn well if they are healthy. My relationship with my pupils has greatly improved since I started working with them in the health club. I think they now trust me more since I can talk with them about sex related issues which is a very sensitive subject in our communities. Customs and traditions do not allow open discussions on HIV related matters but the health clubs have made it possible”. He also admits that he has learned a lot from KforC capacity building workshops and the health club material donated by KforC has be an excellent source for him to increase his knowledge on HIV and Malaria
The year 2011 was the pilot phase of this project. In order to determine the impact, KforC conducted an evaluation in all the 20 primary schools in March 2012. Our team gave out 240 questionnaires on HIV and Malaria combined to 100 health scouts and 40 health club coordinators. We randomly sampled 25% of the total number of Health Scouts. After analysis we are convinced that our activities have led to increased levels of knowledge on HIV and Malaria. Therefore we plan to add 20 new primary schools to the project in 2012, as many more children should have access to HIV and Malaria education.
We sincerely thank all those who have and are still supporting this project. Together we can bring more healthy habits to primary school children in the rural areas of the North West Region.
We believe in structural knowledge exchange and will gladly accept any information or advice you have to share for the success of this project.