On April 25, Harvard commemorated World Malaria Day 2014 with two fun, student-led activities:
Malaria Matters – Miles Against Malaria 5K
Harvard Malaria Competition winner and HSPH MPH candidate Ukachi Emeruwa brought her Malaria Matters awareness and fundraising campaign to a close with Miles Against Malaria, a 5K community-wide walk. Taking place along the River Charles, participants took part in a competitive run/leisurely walk to raise awareness and funds to support the delivery of malaria diagnostics, treatments, and bed nets. The event included remarks by Wendy McWeeny, Senior Program Officer, MCJ Amelior Foundation and Professor Dyann Wirth, Chair, Department of Immunology & Infectious Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health.
The Malaria Matters campaign also included a cross-university photo exhibit, titled Visions from the Field, displaying images of malaria from around the world. The photo exhibit was accompanied by a social media campaign encouraging students to post ‘selfies’ posing with Malaria Matters pins, on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Malaria Matters was sponsored by Malaria No More, Harvard’s Defeating Malaria initiative, Nothing But Nets, TAMTAM and the Swiss Malaria Group.
Mob Malaria is a global, student-run project to raise awareness of malaria and its eradication efforts through fun. On World Malaria Day (April 25), students and community members in Cambridge (USA), Changsha (China), and Harare (Zimbabwe) took part in an audio-guided flash mob. Unlike traditional flash mobs, Mob Malaria was a flash mob experience for its participants, who perform ridiculous, fun actions under the guidance of a pre-recorded audio file.
The campaign, co-produced by Harvard College Freshmen and Harvard Malaria Competition winners Lily Zhang and Stephen Turban, rests on the idea that awareness is the first step toward change, and fun is a first step toward awareness. The goal is to transform campaigns from “memorable” to “shareable”.
At Harvard, Mob Malaria took place at the Science Center Plaza near Harvard Yard. The campaign included a quirky social media campaign and a short video of the flash mob will be released shortly via YouTube.
Mob Malaria was sponsored by Malaria No More and Harvard’s Defeating Malaria initiative. The Mob received support from various Harvard comedy groups and On Harvard Time wrote the script and filmed the event at Harvard.
Mob Malaria was featured by the following media:
- The Harvard Crimson – Students Organize International ‘Mobs’ to Raise Awareness of Malaria
- Humanosphere.org – Harvard Students Hope a Mob Mentality Can Raise Awareness of Malaria
Of Moses, Me and Malaria – The Harvard Crimson
“About 12 years ago, I was lying on a hospital bed somewhere in western Uganda slowly recovering from yet another recurring bout of malaria. I was missing out on my second semester of third grade, and that meant not only falling behind in schoolwork but also losing the chance to laugh and play with my school friends.”
In an article published in the Harvard Crimson on World Malaria Day 2014, Harvard College Sophomore and neurobiology concentrator Dominic Akandwanaho shares his experiences growing up with malaria in Uganda.