On Sunday March 24th, Peace Corps Volunteers in the Western province met at Kumbya in Nyamasheke District for a regional Malaria training. The goals of the training were to educate volunteers about the disease and discuss resources and best practices for promoting behavior change in volunteers’ communities.
The training covered topics including the biological basis of malaria, epidemiology, symptoms, treatment, and prevention of the disease. The training concluded with a discussion of activities and trainings that volunteers can help to facilitate in their communities to promote malaria prevention techniques.
The training was also scheduled to help volunteers begin preparing for World Malaria Month coming up in May.
“Although World Malaria Month doesn’t technically start until May, I think it’s really important for volunteers to understand the resources they have available to them as early as possible. This helps to increase the number of malaria prevention trainings volunteers can do before, during, and after World Malaria Month”, said Taylor Fitzpatrick-Schmidt, Western Province Regional Malaria Coordinator (RMC).
In addition, this training aimed to provide volunteers with the most recent updates on national malaria prevention best practices in Rwanda.
For example, this year Rwanda will be conducting net distribution campaigns across the country, targeting different key high exposure areas with nets that contain a new component to combat insecticide resistance among Anopheles mosquitoes.
“This was also a great opportunity to facilitate discussions about malaria prevention techniques, and keep volunteers up to date with exciting updates, such as a newly discovered malaria vaccine and the Nightwatch Curriculum,” says Kyla Kortering, Western RMC.
Western RMCs hope to implemet a second training in the Western province before World Malaria Month to plan regional activities, including a Western Region Malaria Tour and a Regional Music Video Competition.