Malaria Education Project (Cambodia)
Following the encouraging results of the pilot project “Theatre and malaria education” implemented in 2001-2002, Nomad RSI extended this project to cover all districts of the province. The programme was launched in 2005 and is nearing completion today. Key messages will continue to be disseminated and reinforced in 2011 onwards but they will be part of a more integrated approach towards health. There will be more focus on the maternal/child health situation which remain perilous, falling far short of the rest of Cambodia and Millennium Development Goals.
The main objective is to provide information concerning the transmission, prevention and treatment of malaria in an accessible and effective way, while respecting existing understandings of the disease.
A theatre show is performed in many villages, using Phnong villagers as actors and addressing various themes concerning malaria. The performance has been filmed and subsequently disseminated widely through the medium of video.
A further set of activities has also been developed for schoolchildren and informal education groups, using ‘child-to-child’ methodologies. Nomad RSI has trained resource people and intervened using these methods in schools throughout the province.
This programme has achieved national recognition for two reasons. Firstly it has raised important technical issues due to its positioning at the interface of local perceptions of malaria and the biomedical model of the disease. Secondly, it is the first health initiative which has been defined and presented by Bunong people themselves, based upon their own language and culture.
Nomad RSI commissioned an external evaluation of the project in 2009 by Mr. Martin Leighfield, which attested to its quality and impact, and is now acting on recommendations.