World Malaria day is one of the international days that are celebrated by WHO. It is in this same line that we, as Medical Students’ Association of Rwanda, organized a community outreach in southern province of Rwanda about Malaria. The outreach took place in a secondary school, Groupe Scolaire Officiel de Butare(GSOB).
The activity took place on 25th, April 2019. The event started in the afternoon around the evening where all the A’level students had been convened in the main hall to learn about Malaria. The attendance was very high; we had more than 500 students attending. That number of young people willing to be agents of change is hugely amazing.
We had two people who had prepared some teachings about Malaria, concerning what it is, its signs and symptoms, ways of transmission, how it is diagnosed, treatments as well as prevention. At first it was kind of an interactive session but being given by someone superior to the students, later on, it ended being a kind of interactive session being moderated by someone almost of same age with them, to mean that they became very open and asked all the questions they wanted to ask, and then they started enjoying the session and asking many interesting questions mainly about Malaria. In fact, what was interesting is that not only did we teach them about Malaria, but we also learned a lot, particularly from the challenging questions they asked us. Thus, we tackled almost everything and left the room when it was time and not because we were done with the session.
Towards the end we had another short but interesting session, a mentorship session. The young people were offered a chance to ask us any questions regarding what their aspiration is and all the questions around medicine they felt like asking their elder brothers and sisters, we were a 10+ team of medical students. Then they asked us about some experiences they were living that we’d already lived and survived and many more questions about different diseases and life as medical students. It surely was very sweet to feel a sense of helping our young brothers and sisters and at the same time learning from them.
In conclusion, the best part of MEDSAR that we all love most, as well as many other medical students, is that members have a chance to go out in the community and contribute to the well being of Rwandans and all those living in Rwanda.
Indeed, World Malaria Day 2019 surely gave us this opportunity to reach out to the community and once more talk about this infectious disease that, at times, is looked down on but that takes lives of many or come with very bad consequences on people’s lives. May every Medical student and health care professional grow to understand that community Health is our primary focus and goal, this way it would everyone’s role to teach the communities about many of the things that are burdening our communities.
Thanks to the writer MBANZA SETONDE Steven NPO-MEDSAR