The Global Fund / Thailand Bureau for Vector Borne Disease (BVBD) October 2011 September 2016
While Thailand has made significant progress in preventing malaria in recent years, migration patterns and the development of drug-resistant strands have made the disease endemic in communities along Thailand’s borders with Cambodia and Myanmar. In 2012, through funding from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, Thailand’s Bureau of Vector Borne Disease (BVBD) provided Kenan with a five-year grant to combat malaria in border regions and support the nation’s ambitious goal of being malaria-free by 2024, as announced on World Malaria Day 2016. 50 of Thailand’s 77 provinces are now malaria-free and malaria cases have gone down from 99,679 cases in 1997 to 18,758 in 2016.
Working in malaria-endemic areas by implementing the project for disease control, prevention and elimination e.g. “School-Based Malaria Behavior Change Communication”, which is the primary project in building knowledge and raising awareness among the target population in the endemic communities. Kenan utilized an innovative participatory malaria education by integrating malaria knowledge with standard curriculum to improve fifth grade students’ knowledge, attitude, and practices (KAP) towards malaria signs & symptoms, control & prevention and treatment that empower these young people to deal with the local language barrier and to become sustainable key agents for changing health behavior at-risk in their own communities. Kenan has also contributed to other related projects e.g. Malaria Drugs Quality Surveillance and Evaluation in Thailand, and the pilot project “Malaria Elimination in Trat province”.
Kenan embedded the curriculum with several strategies for participatory student learning and applying BCC technique in 152 at-risk elementary schools in nine endemic provinces by providing a training workshop to 1,173 Science & Health Education teachers, including the principals. Kenan still conducts the additional activities e.g. a one-day Malaria Camp for Students in Tak province themed as an edutainment event. The use of Project-Based Learning at the Camp inspired students to obtain a deeper knowledge of malaria. Kenan also partnered with U.S. Pharmacopeia to monitor and evaluate malaria drugs in 22 selected provinces to build the capacity of health officials. Finally, during the pilot project “Malaria Elimination in Trat province”, Kenan leveraged local stakeholder collaboration and provided Public-Private Partnership to build a malaria elimination strategy for the community.
During the five-year project, teachers trained by Kenan used an innovative curriculum to raise awareness of malaria knowledge, cause, signs & symptoms, control & prevention and suitable treatment among 17,062 fifth grade students. These students now possess critical life skills that will reduce their long-term risk of contracting malaria and help build safer, healthier communities. To add to the project’s sustainability, in project year 4 and 5, Kenan developed 34 master teachers who are now training their peers in nine selected provinces. In addition, 95 government officials attended Kenan-led workshops on malaria drug-quality assurance and evaluation, and building the capacity of relevant officials for promoting malaria elimination in Trat province. Kenan’s extensive activities laid the foundation for malaria elimination in Trat province.