Drawing attention to malaria

Drawing attention to malaria

With the right use of the right tools, much of the suffering caused by malaria can be prevented. This is the message that MMV aims to convey through its children’s drawing competition, which has been hosted in numerous malaria-endemic countries in Asia and Africa over the last 10 years. This year the competition will be taking place in Mangalore, India.

MMV has worked with the Centre for Integrated Learning (CIL), a city-based NGO in Mangalore to organize this drawing competition titled: ‘The art of fighting malaria’ for the month of October in the run up to MMV’s 12th Stakeholders’ Meeting that will take place in Delhi, 6-8 November 2012 in collaboration with the Indian Council for Medical Research.

While the Stakeholders’ meeting is taking place in Delhi, Mangalore was chosen to host the competition as it suffers from the highest number of registered malaria cases in India. Children from 25-30 schools, from the most vulnerable parts of the city, have been encouraged to take up their crayons and draw on their creativity to help defeat malaria.

Through the competition, the children displayed their knowledge regarding how malaria is transmitted and how, with the use of bed nets, insecticides and medicines, it can be stopped in its tracks.

Contests have been held simultaneously in each school over a week. Over 4,000 students, aged between 11 and 14, from 16 private and government schools took part in the contest and 100 students will be chosen to enter the final round.

“Prizes will be given to the best five paintings and an exhibition of about 250 paintings (10 best from each school) will be organized during the valedictory ceremony," CIL Executive Director, Sachitha Nandagopal explained.

The CIL team are also organizing various other supporting events to help raise as much awareness as possible. These include a photography exhibition in association with the District Photographers' Association, a newsletter to be published for the prize-giving valedictory ceremony, a jingle contest, a workshop on health issues for children, field visits to vulnerable areas and publishing awareness posters.

The inter-school competition will take place on 29 October and the prize-giving on 2 November, with support from MMV, Kasturba Medical College, Dakshina Kannada District Health Department and Malaria Cell of Mangalore City Corporation. Winning entries will be posted on the MMV website.