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February 25, 2019

[Volunteer Report] Prevention is better than cure

Name: Akane Matsumoto
Technical Field: Public Health
Recipient Organization: Mzuzu Urban Health Centre

Name: Yuki Yadani
Technical Field: Infection and HIV/AIDS Control
Recipient Organization: Mzuzu Urban Health Centre

Ever since we came to Malawi, we have had opportunities to hold health promotion events in the city of Mzuzu, the third biggest city in Malawi that is located in the northern part of the country where we were dispatched as volunteers. During our stay in the country, we have come to realize that these health promotion events tend to put more emphasis on treatment than prevention of diseases. This is because most people in the country think that a hospital is a place that one visits when he or she gets sick. People who think that they are healthy enough, do not think they have an opportunity to get to know about health and how they can prevent themselves from being infected with diseases in the future. In that regard, the purpose of the health talks that we held was to create awareness for the wellbeing of the people in the city of Mzuzu and to encourage more people to go to hospitals particularly to have themselves tested against HIV/Aids and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

During one of the health promotion days that we held in the city, nearly 200 people attended the event and we were satisfied that it was successfully done. Most people were interested to have their blood pressure measured. To our surprise, a high number of people had high blood pressure and we had to advise them to go to hospital for further treatment. The members of the society with an aim of educating the community about importance of visiting hospitals to know their health condition did an energetic drama performance. The main part of the event during that day was the health talk that we made. Among others, the topics that we covered were HIV/AIDS, nutrition, malaria and how to use a mosquito net. During the health talk, we tried to interact with the audience by asking them questions and acknowledging their good answers. It was such a joyful and meaningful health talk that we held during our term as volunteers in Malawi.

Generally, Malawians have basic knowledge about HIV/AIDS infection and prevention that they acquire through school health education. However, a few people take precautions against the disease.

We really hope that this event was an opportunity for people to be aware of their health condition and more importantly to take positive actions to take good care of their bodies.

PhotoCommunity member measuring their blood pressure

PhotoMs. Yadani is conducting a health talk

PhotoGroup photo with members of the society


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