An Entertaining Approach to Mosquito Net Care in Uganda

05 May 2014
A local group in Serere District, Uganda sings and demonstrates net care and repair practices. © 2013 William Bakkabulindi, Courtesy of NetWorks and Stop Malaria.

A local group in Serere District, Uganda sings and demonstrates net care and repair practices. © 2013 William Bakkabulindi, Courtesy of NetWorks and Stop Malaria.

What happens when song and dance competitions, theater and humorous radio spots meet long lasting insecticidal mosquito nets? Learning about net care and repair becomes exciting!

Ajiro Hellen Mary, a 30 year-old mother of four explained, “Previously in my own thinking the net that has holes was of no use, however, this [communication campaign] has changed my thinking and I got to know that those nets if repaired and cared for are good help to my family.”

In schools, students participated in music, dance and drama competitions that made net care and repair interesting. During three arts and crafts classes, teachers taught students care and repair basics and prepared them for the district-wide net repair competitions.

Apolot Rebecca, a 7th grade pupil from Olobai Primary School explained, “I learned to hang the net every morning, wash it after every three-months, inspect it every morning, and repair the net. I also taught my young brothers at home. My mother appreciated what I was doing at home, and eventually she was compelled to do the same. The program has benefited me since I am now sleeping in a good net without holes and my health has improved.”

In addition to the district-wide school competitions, a village song competition targeted adults. Participants were encouraged to learn about net repair and write songs to pass along the information. Groups of 15 community members from 29 villages participated in the competition, writing 29 original songs which were broadcast on radio.

This campaign is part of a multi-country pilot funded by USAID/PMI through the NetWorks and Stop Malaria projects that is examining the relationship between net care and repair and net durability, as well as the role of communication in promoting care and repair. Results from the pilots will be available in 2014. To learn more about net care and repair, visit http://www.k4health.org/toolkits/care-repair-LLIN.

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