There were several days of events, leading up to the celebrations on the 25th. There was a forum on the 24th in which I and my USAID colleague Rama took part.
World Malaria Day festivities were held in Pikine, a suburb of Dakar, on Wednesday morning... traditional musicians, children singing songs, scenes about malaria control acted out, Senegalese celebrities, the Minister of Health.
The NMCP had ordered fabric in honor of the day for everyone involved to have dresses made from - unfortunately, it arrived the day before. My strategy: find a video on YouTube about how to wrap a sari. I asked Ed if it looked like I was going to a toga party. His response: Wouldn't it be white if you were going to a toga party? :) Oh well, it was OK - but amazing all the women who had managed to get dresses made - some of them quite fancy! None of the tailors in Pikine must have slept the night before!
I was intrigued by some of the traditional musicians - I had never seen the groups of women who play these large painted gourds, providing base, and a very pretty rhythmic dance. Plus these beautiful dresses - I thought they made a striking picture!
A few troupes of actors performed sketches in Wolof about malaria control - the fellow in the picture below, who has just stripped is shirt off, starts off very hostile towards modern malaria prevention (the health worker trying to give his wife a bednet), and ends up contracting malaria and being carried off by the others. I could at least understand that much!
Senegalese pop singer Pape Diouf appeared, talked about malaria, sang a number, and danced. leading a troupe of photographers and delighting the children and young women.
Anyway - it's all over - back to work!!