Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Monday, December 23, 2013

Health Club – HIV awareness class at Shimoni Primary

It’s reaching the time of year here in Shimoni when the schools begin preparing for exams before slowing down and commencing their well deserved end of term holidays! For the health volunteers, this sadly means we don’t have as much teaching time! Luckily for us, Kopa (GVIs health officer) struck a deal with the teachers of Shimoni Primary and managed to schedule a week’s worth of afternoon Health Club classes! This has been a great opportunity for us volunteers to get our heads down and work together to plan some educational, interactive and hopefully enjoyable classes!
Health club members taking notes 
 We began our Health Club sessions with an HIV focused lesson. The local children are aware that HIV is a health issue that is prominent in this area, so they seemed keen to engage with the lesson and show their knowledge of the subject right from the word go – as Madame Julia (health volunteer) was writing the title on the board, the children could tell us what the letters in HIV stood for. Great start to the class!
Health club Members joins the other student in end of year closing ceremony.

Madame Julia began the lesson by explaining what HIV is and how we can contract and transmit the virus. This was done with a simple, yet very effective demonstration using plastic cups, water and yellow squash (we chose to color yellow to represent the HIV virus). The liquids represent bodily fluids and by mixing the liquids, the spread of virus is visualized and easily understood. Mister Jackson (health field staff) then went onto illustrate exactly how HIV weakens our immune system by filling a white balloon (white blood cell) with yellow confetti (HIV virus) and popping the balloon! 
Madam Rosie enjoying the Health project
  I ended the lesson with an interactive true or false activity. The aim of this was to firstly get the children directly involved with the lesson and to review what we had covered in the session, in the hope that the children would have learned and remembered something new! We respect that HIV is often a negative and sensitive subject to discuss, however we wanted to conclude our class on an optimistic note! I believe we achieved this by discussing that HIV treatment and therapies are greatly successful in prolonging a healthy immune system for many years. And much to our delight, the children all seemed to agree! 

Rosie Chisholm – Health Volunteer