Nearly 100 students and several more adults joined Veterinarians Without Borders for the 9th Community Health Day this past February. This day aimed at educating primary school students about the links between animal, human, and environmental health. What does this mean in real terms for children? It means things like avoiding dog bites, hand-washing, eating healthily, and other easy-to-understand health topics were covered.
After some interactive presentations around a healthy environment, it was time for games, so that the children could connect with the ideas that were being presented. First, a game of musical chairs, to demonstrate how wild animals have nowhere to go when their habitats are lost to climate change or deforestation. Next up was an exercise about waste management. The students were given “rubbish” and had to choose the best way to dispose of it or recycle it. It was hard to tell which game was the students’ favorite, but they all seemed to have a great time playing the game about the benefits of using a mosquito net. If the student’s arms (the net) were up, the ball (the mosquito) could not hit their body.
Children weren’t the only ones learning at the Community Health Days. Parents, especially mum, watched intently for the entire program and had an opportunity to play a card game that simulated good outcomes when choosing livestock vaccination options. We hope that next year, the teachers and community members can build on what they have learned at this year’s series of Community Health Days and lead them next year!