The Vaccine Network for Disease Control is promoting vaccine awareness and access through the theme Don’t Hope No Pneumonia, Decide! In September, the group hosted a training session and community cleanup in Damangaza, Angwausawa. During this event, health workers evaluated children and treated those who were ill, while also helping to clean up homes and distribute clean cook stoves. The organization also planned a child “flash mob” at the Garki market and Shoprite to create awareness about pneumonia. On October 12, the organization hosted an interactive education session with children at Bema Homes Basic School in Piwoyi, Abuja, Nigeria. The organization will host additional pneumonia training sessions, plays, and question and answer sessions in three primary schools. Additional details on each activity are provided below.
Check out this video to learn more about the burden of pneumonia in Nigeria!
Community Clean Up – On September 15, The Vaccine Network organized a community cleanup exercise in commemoration of Clean the World Day. The group organized a visit to rural, Damangaza Angwuasawa, Gudu district, Abuja, Nigeria. Doctors, nurses, and volunteers provided health evaluations as well as house-cleaning assistance. The health staff provided health education talks on hygiene and prevention and protection from pneumonia, while doctors and nurses evaluated children for illnesses like pneumonia and the common cold, but also malaria and ringworm. They provided medications for those found to be sick.
Other volunteers visited homes in the village and helped clean them up, while providing education to women about the benefits of clean cook stoves. Homes involved in the cleanup received clean cook stoves, enabling them to stop using firewood and coal for cooking in their homes, which should reduce indoor air pollution, an environmental cause of pneumonia.
More than 160 children and 100 adults were reached through this effort. The Vaccine Network intends to follow up with vaccinations for children in this rural community in the near future. The Chief of the Village, Alhaji Abdul, was supportive of the effort and said, “I know that what they are doing is good, may Allah help them not to get tired.”
Flash Mob – In October, the Vaccine Network organized community “flash mobs” in Garki market and Shoprite to raise awareness about pneumonia and diarrhea as the leading killers of children. Children wearing t-shirts with health messages danced and distributed fliers containing useful information about interventions to prevent pneumonia and diarrhea.
School Events – On October 12, the Vaccine Network held a Stop Pneumonia training session at Bema Homes Basic School in Piwoyi, Abuja, Nigeria. About 80 students and 20 adults attended the event, with students ranging from 5 to 11 years of age. The goal of the event was to get the children involved in creating awareness about pneumonia, including its causes, symptoms and prevention methods, by providing them with information to share back at home with their parents. The event included several interactive activities including a play, talk show, education session, story time, and a pledge and quiz the children took. The play titled, Pneumonia: aka The Silent Killer, was put on by one group of children and used entertainment as a vehicle to enlighten other kids and adults about pneumonia. The quiz was used to challenge the children to see if they understood what had been taught them and measure the extent of their assimilation. During the talk show, the children again showed off their knowledge on pneumonia by answering questions from the audience. Then, the children listened to a story titled The Great Fall of Pneumonia where the illness took the form of a person and attacked everyone in the village especially children under five years of age. At the end it took the combination of vaccination, good nutrition, ventilation and a clean environment to defeat the foe called pneumonia. Finally, the children took a pledge, which said: “I pledge to wash my hands regularly. I pledge to eat good food. I pledge to clean my environment. I pledge to tell my mummy and daddy about pneumonia vaccine. So Help Me God.”
On November 12, the Vaccine Network plans to host additional training sessions in two-to-three primary schools. The sessions include a play written to provide information on pneumonia followed by a question and answer session.