After 2 weeks in Ghana, we have successfully completed our first project! We were all very excited to work with AMPA resources on malaria outreach in the small community of Otoase.
Last Wednesday, we went home to home, conducting a survey on malaria. The results were really fascinating. We found that over 75% of households had actually experienced malaria firsthand, illustrating the importance of our project in Otoase. Further, only 45% of those households who had nets were using them.
As a follow-up to our survey, we held a community outreach event on Thursday to educate the community and hand out nets to households which had any pregnant woman or children under 5. These groups are most vulnerable to contracting malaria. It was really rewarding to see the community so engaged and asking many questions to Kingsley, our speaker from Ghana Health Services.
Ghanaians love it when you try to embrace their culture and speak to them in Twi, the language commonly spoken in Koforidua (and Otoase). I made some friends as we went from home-to-home just by saying “Ma Chi” (Ghanaian for “good morning”) to everyone I met. The locals quickly learned my Ghanaian name was Abena (meaning I was born on a Tuesday) and at the community outreach, they were thrilled to see me at the community outreach and kept calling me sister Abena.
I also loved handing out stickers to the children at the outreach. Everyone was slightly confused at what stickers were, but quickly found a way to use them (usually by sticking them somewhere on themselves)! I couldn’t help but smile when I saw a child walking around with a Canadian flag plastered on his head.
I’m having a lot of fun getting to know my fellow volunteers, homestay family, and community members. Time has flown by, and I can’t wait to see what the next two weeks will bring!
– Vicky Au, Youth Ambassador, Ghana 2013