Vakon 3 June 2011


Post: Vakon

Date(s) of project: July-August 2011

Brief description of Project:

The Health Center for the Commune of Akpro-Missérété sits in a prime location to serve residents of all six of the arrondisements. The center is most frequented by pregnant women and new mothers, who come for pre-natal consultations, delivery, and immunizations. The majority of these women do not speak French and do not read or write. The staff at the health center has found that visual materials are very important in helping these women to understand key information about disease prevention and maternal care. In the area where most women sit and wait for their consultations, there are currently a few weathered posters peeling off the wall. I have spoken with the staff and they are all very enthusiastic about constructing a few small murals as a more permanent visual aid and resource.

The staff has expressed interest in several images pertaining to malaria prevention, proper breastfeeding, and nutrition. The funds requested by the GSP proposal will be directed toward purchasing the paint and supplies necessary to create several small murals on the walls of the health center. These murals will play a vital role in relaying very important information to non-literate mothers. The murals can relay this information both actively, during staff-led sensibilisations, and passively, as women wait for their consultations.

Facilitating communication between health workers and their illiterate clients is a hugely important step in empowering women to take a proactive role in their own health and the health of their children. Since discussing this mural proposal with the health center, I have already received another request for another health clinic. Whether or not I am personally able to fulfill this request, I feel confident that creating murals in Akpro- Missérété will serve as a replicable model for health providers elsewhere.

Number of people involved:

# of
# of Service Providers (work partners, Project co-organizers,
technicians, animators, etc.)
Women over 24 throughout course of year thousands of women will benefit 2-3 pcvs, 1 sage femme
Men over 24 1 medecin chef, 1 work partner
Girls 15-24
Boys 15-24
Girls under 15
Boys under 15


Item Number Unit Cost Total Cost
Small can of black paint 1 3.100 3.100
Small can of white paint 2 2.250 5.500
Colorant 3 3.500 10.500
3 pack of small brushes 4 3.250 13.000
Petrol (paint thinner) 1 600 600
Paint Sealant 2 7.500 15.000
Towels (clean brushes) 4 525 2.100
Total 49.800

Amount Requested: 49.800

Activity Report

The Goals/Objectives of Project:

The goals of this project were to:
• provide the maternity staff with visual aids in the form of murals to help with their sensibilizations of pregnant women and new mothers
• increase awareness of proper breastfeeding technique and the importance of sleeping under a mosquito net

Were Those Goals/Objectives Met:

Both of these goals were certainly met. The maternity staff were very enthusiastic throughout the entire process, often offering critique and suggestion to improve the teaching potential of both murals. It is clear that they are happy with these new visual aids and will make use of them often. Additionally, women waiting for consultations and even people just walking by often commented on the murals, which started informal conversations about important health topics. I am confident that both images will continue to function as conversation starters, thereby increasing awareness of proper breastfeeding technique and the importance of sleeping under a mosquito net.

The Strengths of this Project:

The biggest strength of this project was my collaboration with the health center staff. Though I was the one actually painting, it was the medecin chef and sage femmes who made all the decisions about what images to use, how to perfect them, and where to paint them. This collaboration is absolutely essential if the murals are to be of greatest use to the people who actually have to look at them every day.

Challenges/Weaknesses of this Project:

One challenge which delayed the actual painting phase was the condition of the health center walls. Originally, I was waiting on the health center to re-condition and re-paint the outside wall of the maternity and paillote. When it became clear that this was not going to happen any time soon, we cancelled plans for painting on the paillote and, for budget reasons, we chose to repaint only the areas of the maternity wall that would house the murals. That way, the staff can repaint the rest of the maternity in the future, without disturbing the murals, and the project was able to go forward without any more delays.

Final Budget:

Item Number Unit Cost Total Cost
setof brushes 1 1.750 1.750
large brush 1 300 300
pencil 1 50 50
pencil sharpener 1 50 50
eraser 1 100 100
meterlong ruler 1 1.300 1.300
small cans of paint 6 900 5.400
petrol 1 500 500
plastic plates 6 100 600
pack of towels 1 1.800 1.800
Total 11.850

Total Cost: 11.850

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License