Malaria Comic Book

According to a survey conducted by SSDI-Communication in 2012, only 20.1% of children between 5 and 14 years of age slept under bed nets. SSDI-Communication responded to a call from the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) to contribute towards malaria prevention and control by adapting a malaria-focused comic book (originally developed by Novartis) for use in schools.

The comic book tells the story of Chimwemwe, a primary school girl who suffers from malaria and is absent from school, can’t play and loses her appetite. She receives an anti-malaria drug (Artemether Lumefantrine) at a health center, completes the dosage, is healed, and her life goes back to normal. To reinforce what students have read, the book also contains other activities that include a quiz, a game and a role-play scenario.

SSDI-Communication printed 27,050 copies of the comic book in English and Chichewa and distributed these to 2,337 schools and reading centers in 16 districts of the country. In addition to increasing knowledge levels, the malaria comic book stimulated prevention and control behaviors among pupils (e.g. sleeping under a net, cutting down grass, removing stagnant water, early attendance to the clinic upon onset of fever, and completing the dosage of the anti- malarial drug). Apart from the health benefits, the comic book has promoted reading culture amongst school going children, and supplements reading materials in schools.