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The Game Revolution

The best way to eat an elephant on your path is to cut him little by little- African proverb 


As children, we played many games, many of which even as adults their memories may not have faded away. Whilst we may not play some off this games today, a reflective look at this games and you will realize they were not only designed for entertainment or to juggle the mind, but also as information tools. They were a school outside of the conventional classroom.


There were number games, pattern games, logical games, mind games, just to mention a few. As technology advances, today’s children may not get to experience the physical aspects of this games as play is now computerized, but the game models do remain similar.


Using the old model of play, one organization is revolutionalizing information sharing amongst its member.


Using an old game model; Snakes and Ladders, KeNAAM has developed a game that helps community health workers share information on malaria, transmission, prevention treatment amongst themselves as a memory juggle.


“You know people do not like reading a lot, so using the games the CHWs can get to remind other on what they learnt during training,” says KeNAAM CEO, Edward Mwangi.


Similar to Snakes and ladder, the games starts with a toast of the dice. One moves the number of steps that are indicated on the dice. Wherever the players piece falls, there is either a question, a reward or set back that makes one move a step ahead, move a step back or answer a question that could propel the individual player one step ahead or vice-versa. With a series of cards with questions the players are all actively involved in answering a question from the cards.


“The game helps us remind each other about the vital malaria information we learnt during our training. This has been really beneficial to us as CHWs.” Says  Getongorama chairperson, Mr. James Tingo, in Kuria East, Migori County.


Whilst ranked sixth, nationwide due to steady progress, Malaria remains the top cause of both mortality and morbidity according to the Migori Health Strategic and Investment plan (MCHSIP). If this is to be reversed, such creative measures are a step in the right direction. The more information is shared and the more the knowledge gap on malaria is reduced the better the chances of eliminating malaria thus meeting the MDG goal number three of elimination of malaria by 2015.


Malaria is not only related to MDG 6, its control will also have an impact on MDG 1, 4 and 5 as well. The project by KeNAAM funded under the Global fund round 10 thus is a step in the right direction in the fight against malaria.

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