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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Drawing Diarrhea!

A month or so ago, I went to a meeting of the ASCs (Agents de santé communautaire - local health workers, in English) and told them I was interested in doing murals at their sites.  I chose this project because my sitemate Lauren's a wonderful artist and I was looking for more opportunities to exploit her, and also because some of the health stuff we teach (the danger signs of diarrhea or severe malaria, how to care for mosquito nets) can be hard to explain to someone not used to a foreign accent. I thought that a mural would be a useful visual aid that the villagers could look back on for at least a few years, until Senegal's heat, wind, and rain wear the paint away. Six ASCs said they were interested, so I went to their villages and had long tea-fueled discussions about what they believed the greatest health threats in their village were. 

Three said diarrhea.  Two said malaria.  One said improper pesticide use.

Then I developed murals based on each answer.  By that I mean that I commissioned Lauren to draw them.

In exchange for receiving a mural, each ASC agreed to lead a causerie of 20-25 community members on their mural.

So far, Lauren and I have only done one mural - diarrhea danger signs, in Saare Sukande. I am hopeful the others will be done by the end of September.

Lauren is very busy with texting.


Saare Sukande's ASC, Demba Balde, with his half-finished mural.  I don't have any pictures of the painting in-progress because filling in the lines was the one part of the mural that required no real skill, therefore the only part I could help with.

Me and Lauren and Demba, with the final product!

Danger signs from bottom left - blood in the stools, fever, when pinched the skin does not rebound quickly [which is a sign of dehydration], lethargy, refusal to eat or drink, vomiting.  Who but Lauren can make bloody diarrhea look this pretty?

Leading his causerie.

Update March 2016: 
I have a new camera!  Here are the rest of the murals:

Kountanto - danger signs of severe malaria

Kansatan - causes of diarrhea (five F's - food flies fingers fluid feces)

Complet model of nutrition
Danger Signs of Malaria, at the Saare Meta Health Hut

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