NALA/JDC and Orbis pilot school based intervention to prevent Trachoma in Ethiopia

Songs, drama and games are part of an interactive behavioral change curriculum that NALA/JDC recently piloted in southwestern Ethiopia. During the last weeks of school in June, a school-based initiative was launched in collaboration with Orbis in the Hadiya and Sidama zones for students in grades 1-4. The pilot is the initial stage of a larger project to promote behavior change and mobilize the community toward the goal of eliminating trachoma from hot spot regions in Ethiopia. Trachoma is the leading infectious cause of blindness in the world, and young children in developing nations are especially vulnerable to contracting it. The pilot began by training school representatives (including teachers and health club coordinators) from six schools in a creative and innovative curriculum on trachoma and prevention strategies. The teachers then adapted the lessons for their students and added songs, games and drama to further their students' interest. The feedback from the pilot was positive, and the curriculum will now be adjusted for implementation in more than 1000 schools in October.