It is understood that the most effective way to reduce the number of malaria deaths is to prevent it, before anyone is bitten by an infected mosquito. That is why our sole purpose is to provide educational resources and podcasts to make access to education more accessible.
London-based animation company, Alternative View, was commissioned by Medical Aid Films to produce three concise videos explaining what malaria is and how individuals can protect themselves from it. The animations focus on Zimbabwe as a location, however, the advice is non-specific and can be applied to any malaria-endemic region across Africa.
I spoke with Sally Edgar from Alternative View Studios to learn more about the project. She said:
Animations offer the opportunity not only to present dynamic content and tackle sensitive subjects that inform and educate audiences, they can also be adapted to suit different cultures and languages through the use of audio.
Half the population of Zimbabwe live in areas with a high risk of malaria transmission. Alternative View Studios worked with Medical Aid Films to produce three animations – Malaria Prevention, Malaria Diagnosis and Malaria Treatment.
Econet Wireless, Zimbabwe’s biggest mobile operator, is making the films available on mobile phones for free, to enable people to watch and share, to improve knowledge and save lives.
The films are available in English, Shona and Ndebele: https://avstudios.com/project/malaria-health-education
How to Prevent Malaria
The first of the three videos is titled ‘How to Prevent Malaria’ and imparts advice on how to reduce your risk of contracting the disease. It focuses on a fictional character called Asanda, telling her story of how she lives with her husband, elderly parents and young family in a malaria-endemic area.
Asanda is determined to keep her family safe from malaria and so follows precautions to reduce their risk. Medical Aid Films suggests hanging Insecticide Nets above sleeping spaces, covering wanter containers with a lid and removing other stagnant water around the home. Spraying the household with insecticide spray is also recommended.
The video states that those most vulnerable to malaria are ‘pregnant women, children under five and older people’ as well as ‘those who are malnourished, or have HIV AIDS’.
How to Diagnose Malaria
The second film looks at how to deal with an individual who may have contracted malaria. Medical Aid Films says that if an individual doesn’t receive treatment quickly their sickness may get worse and they may even die. They suggest calling a local health worker immediately to receive a rapid diagnostic malaria test.
This test will also determine the seriousness of an individual’s malaria and if they need to receive urgent treatment.
How to Treat Malaria
Again focusing on Zimbabwe, the video explores how someone with malaria should be treated. The advice for someone in need of urgent medical attention is to go to the health centre immediately to be monitored and to receive treatment.
However, an individual with ‘uncomplicated’ malaria can stay at home but must begin taking prescribed malaria tablets. The video emphasises how urgent it is to seek medical attention and recommends returning to the health centre, should an individual become sick again after treatment.
At the end of the video, Medical Aid Films stress the importance of communicating with a local health worker, should they have any inquiries.