Facebook live: Village Drama against Malaria performance in Cambodia

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A young villager at an early April 2017 show in Ou Chet Pran village, Pailin Province, Cambodia. © MORU 2017.


On 25 April, World Malaria Day 2017, Village Drama Against Malaria broadcast live on Facebook a malaria awareness and engagement performance by villagers in Phnom Dambong village, Pailin Province.

Over 300 villagers and local authorities attended the fun, lively, sometimes raucous performance of music, karaoke, short health talks, games and drama.

The show was held to support Cambodia’s efforts to eliminate falciparum malaria – the most deadly form of malaria and particularly important in western Cambodia where multidrug resistant malaria parasites have emerged and are spreading to north-western Thailand and into Myanmar.

Using Cambodian drama, art, music workshops and village concerts, Village Drama Against Malaria mobilises rural communities to eliminate malaria. Village children and youth are key targets during Village Drama Against Malaria activities, which mix new technology (drones, video diaries, social media) with old methods (drama, community meetings, health talks).

Working closely with Cambodia’s Public Health Department (PHD) and local health clinics, Village Drama focuses on villages at high risk of malaria. Before each show, a drama group works for 2 days with villagers and the Public Health Department to create a script for a 2-3 hour show starring locals.

Started in July 2016, Village Drama Against Malaria has worked with the Cambodia health and local authorities and selected 15 Pailin Province villages for shows on malaria infection, symptoms and prevention and other important local issues such as infant vaccination. Public health authorities report high participation rates and positive feedback from villagers and local health workers.

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A drawing by a young participant at Village Drama Against Malaria awareness raising activities in Ou Chet Pran village, Pailin Province, Cambodia, in early April 2017. © MORU 2017.

Funded by a Wellcome Trust (UK) Provision for Public Engagement award, Village Drama is organised by Ms. Nou Sanann, of the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) community engagement team, and Dr Yok Sovann, PHD Deputy Director of Malaria in Pailin Province, with support from MORU Cambodia Targeted Malaria Elimination (TME) team members Rupam Tripuram and Tom Peto.

You can watch the 25 April 2017 live performance on Village Drama Against Malaria’s Facebook Page, https://www.facebook.com/dramaagainstmalaria/

Media inquiries? Contact John Bleho, john@tropmedres.ac