I’m sick of disease

Health promotion & disease prevention

*

3 - 4 hours

„Don’t catch the FLU”

Duration: around 10 min.

Group size: Any

Materials: Ball with a tag „FLU” stacked on it, energetic music

The Facilitator asks the group to make a circle and explains that it is a common phenomenon for people to catch the flu, from time to time. The game will be based on this statement and as in real life, its purpose will be to get rid of the flu, as fast as possible. The „FLU” in this game is a ball and the participants, while standing in a circle, have to throw it at each other (one by one) while music is played on the background. Once the Facilitator stops the music, the person who stays with the „FLU” (the ball) in their hands, loses the game and has to sit down on the floor. Then the Facilitator turns on the music again and the game goes on, until there is a winner – the person who did not stay with the ball while the 2 last players were left in the game.

Hints for the facilitator:

  • Prepare a tag for the ball writing the word „FLU” in CAPITAL LETTERS, to be visible to everybody!
  • Choose energetic music, for participants to have fun while playing.
  • Make sure that after each round, the ones that lost sit down on the floor.
  • Follow the participants dynamics, change the tempo and duration of the game accordingly

1. „How do pathogens spread?”

Duration: around 30 min.

Group size: around 20 people

Materials: Appendix 1 (form 1) cut in 4 pieces – 1 piece for each team, 2 small jars with glitter, 2 small jars of Vaseline, a cup of cornstarch, few pieces of plastic food (like vegetables), 1 spray bottle filled with water, Appendix 2 (Infographic „Epidemiologic Triad”) for every participant

The Facilitator informs participants that they will learn and be demonstrated different ways through which pathogens spread.  At the beginning, the Facilitator asks the group to share what they already know about pathogens, which cause diseases and how those pathogens can be spread. After the introduction, the Facilitator divides participants into 4 groups and gives each team with a piece of instruction „How do pathogens spread”? Since there are 4 different ways, each team is asked to read out their instruction and prepare a demonstration for the other participants, using material provided by the Facilitator. The Material is put on an accessible table, in order for every team to take whatever they need for their presentation and whatever their manual indicates. When all groups are ready, each group presents their demonstration in front of the other participants. The Facilitator encourages participants to ask questions during each presentation.

Afterwards, the Facilitator asks the following questions:

  • What are the ways in which pathogens spread?
  • What have you learned from this exercise?
  • Is it easy or difficult to get the pathogens?
  • In which situations can we get infected?
  • What do the pathogens transmit?

After the discussion, the Facilitator can distribute the infographic „Epidemiologic Triad” to finalize the exercise.

Sources:

http://www.pkids.org/  Parents of kids with infectious diseases

Appendix 1: "How do pathogens spread?"
Appendix 2: "Epidemiologic Triad"

2. „Communicable diseases from A to Z”

Duration: around 60 – 80 min.

Group size: Any

Materials: Appendix 3 (form 2 – „List of the most common communicable diseases”), Flip charts, colorful cardboards, markers, colorful paper, glue, scissors, devices with Internet access

The Facilitator makes a reference to the first activity and its summary, by saying that as they know from the previous task, pathogens can be very dangerous because they transmit communicable diseases. Here, the Facilitator reminds participants that pathogens are the illnesses a person can get through ways mentioned in the previous exercise. Then, the group is asked to brainstorm which diseases are qualified as communicable (infectious) while the Facilitator writes them down on the flip chart. When the list is ready, the Facilitator disseminates the „List of the most common communicable diseases”. All together the group checks the validity of their brainstorming. In case of a mistake, the Facilitator erases the „wrong” illness from the flip chart. The next step is to divide participants into smaller groups of max. 5 people. Once they sit down in the new groups, the Facilitator explains that their new task is to choose one (1) of the diseases from the brainstorming/or the „List…” and prepare an informative BROCHURE (might include few pages) which will include the following information:

  1. Short, general info about the disease.
  2. How is it spread?
  3. What are the symptoms of the illness?
  4. How can it be treated?
  5. How can it be prevented?
  6. Who gets affected mostly?
  7. Interesting facts and numbers

At the end, when all brochures are ready, each group are asked to present them, take pictures and post them on social media, promoting the project. The Facilitator should also hang them in the room, so other people can see and read them.

Appendix 3: "List of the most common communicable diseases"

Hints for The Facilitator:

  • Make sure, that every group chooses a different illness – if they cannot decide themselves, you can choose for them or prepare names of the diseases, write them on a small piece of paper and put them in the bowl, for each team to draw one.
  • Remember to remind groups to work together, prepare their brochures in a clean, aesthetic way based on reliable information.
  • They can use the following sources:

http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/communicable-diseases World Health Organization

http://www.pkids.org Parents of kids with infectious diseases

3. „What would you do?”

Duration: around 30 – 40 min.

Group size: around 28 people

Materials: None

The Facilitator starts by asking the group the following questions:

  • What could lead to a person touching another person’s blood? Trying to help, curiosity and others.
  • Why we should never ouch another person’s blood? Pathogens
  • Can blood and pathogens exist in other body fluids, like saliva, even if we cannot see them? Yes
  • How can we help someone without touching their blood or other fluids? You can get an adult, offer tissues to a bleeding person or a person with a runny nose.

After a short discussion, the Facilitator divides the group into 7 smaller ones and distributes short scenarios, asking each team how they would react if the specific scenario happened to them? Each group is given about 10 minutes to come up with a brief strategy, which they will present later. After each presentation, the Facilitator asks the other teams to foster discussion.

Scenarios:

  1. Your little sister is all excited because she has a loose tooth, and she wants you to pull it out Should you do it? (No—hands carry germs, and there may be blood from the loose tooth.)
  2. Jane suddenly develops a nosebleed, and it is getting on her shirt. What should you do?  (Get an adult; do not touch the blood; offer towels in a way that you do not come into contact with her blood.)
  3. You are eating lunch with your friend. He takes a bite of a candy bar that you really like, and he offers you a bite.  Should you take a bite?  (No, because germs and/or blood can be present in saliva.)
  4. You are at a sleepover, and you discover you have forgotten your toothbrush. Should you use your friend’s toothbrush?  (No, for the same reason you do not take a bite of someone else’s food.)
  5. You are playing soccer and suddenly you collide with someone. He or she bleeds on your shirt.  What should you do?  (Immediately get an adult; do not touch the blood on your shirt; take your shirt off as soon as possible and put it in a plastic bag.  Your parents will wash it, throw it away or take care of it in some way.)
  6. Your parents leave out their nail clippers or razor. Should you use them?  (No; everyone should have their own grooming tools, because blood can still get on them, even if we can’t see it.)
  7. You have to sneeze, and you can’t get a tissue in time.  What should you do?  (Cover your mouth with an elbow, or use your hands and wash them quickly afterwards)

Evaluation

After all the activities, the Facilitator asks participants the following questions, to check what they remembered from the workshops:

  • Question: What are the signs of a cold? Answer: a runny nose, a headache, sneezing, sometimes a sore throat.
  • Question: Can medicine help curing a cough or a cold? Answer: NO, most colds and coughs are caused by viruses. Viruses cannot be cured using medicine. Some medicine, however, may help to alleviate symptoms while the virus naturally runs its course.
  • Question: What is pneumonia and what are its symptoms? Answer: Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can make you very sick. The symptoms are: rapid breathing, fever or teeth-chattering, a cough with greenish mucus or tinged with blood, chest pain that feels worse when you cough or breathe in, and nausea and vomiting are all additional signs of pneumonia.
  • Question: How can we prevent or reduce pneumonia? Answer: Avoiding smoky or dusty rooms, avoiding contact with people who have a cold (helps to prevent a cold from becoming pneumonia), Immunization against pneumonia (vaccine), hygiene.
  • Question: What is the flu? Answer: Influenza, commonly known as the “flu,” is an extremely contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza A or B viruses.
  • Question: When flu mostly occurs? Answer: Flu appears most frequently in winter and early spring.
  • Question: What is the difference between a cold and flu? Answer: The common cold and flu are both contagious viral infections of the respiratory tract. Although the symptoms can be similar, flu is much worse. A cold may drag you down a bit, but the flu can make you shudder at the very thought of getting out of bed.
  • Question: How is flu spread? Answer: The flu virus is spread from person to person through respiratory secretions and typically sweeps through large groups of people who spend time in close contact, such as in daycare facilities, classrooms, college dormitories, military barracks, offices, and nursing homes.
  • Question: Which diseases can attack by blood or body fluids? Answer: Hepatitis B, HIV
  • Question: What are some examples of barriers to not get infected by body fluids? Answer: Bandages, non-permeable gloves, plastic baggies
  • Question: Which is a more reliable method of preventing disease: using tissues, or vaccination? Answer: Vaccination
  • Question: Is it still a good idea to use tissues when we sneeze/cough? Why/why not? Answer: Yes, because some diseases transmitted this way, like the common cold, are not vaccine preventable, also, some people, like people with AIDS, are more susceptible to disease
  • Question: Can we get HIV/AIDS from sharing a toilet with somebody? Answer: No
  • Question: Can we get other diseases by sharing a toilet with somebody? Answer: Yes
  • Question: What is rotavirus and how can we prevent it? Answer: This easily spread virus causes inflammationin the stomach and intestines. It can cause severe diarrheavomitingfeverabdominal pain, and dehydration in infants, young children, and some adults. Frequent hand washing and disinfecting surfaces helps, but nothing is a guarantee. Vaccination is recommended.
  • Question: what is meningococcus? Answer: Meningococcal disease can refer to any illness caused by the type of bacteria. Keeping up to date with recommended vaccines is the best defense against meningococcal disease. Hygiene and not sharing food and utensils with the others are also very important.

Sources of the quiz:

http://www.savethechildren.org

https://www.webmd.com

Hints for The Facilitator:

  • You do not need to ask all the questions – the choice is yours how many and which.
  • You can think about some small quiz prizes for the winners.

„Jar of Inspiring Protection”

Duration: around 20 min.

Group size: Any

Materials: Jar, pieces of paper, pens, Appendix 4 (Infographic) – optional

This activity can be implement as the result of the above workshop, but it can also be implemented as a Facebook post, under which people can leave comments with answers.

The Facilitator asks the group/Facebook audience to come up with 1 idea on how to protect and prevent themselves from getting a disease. Once everybody comes up with different thoughts, the Facilitator asks the group to write their propositions on the piece of paper and put the paper into the „JAR OF INSPIRING PROTECTION” – which can be used in the future during other workshops, or as a promotional material, or as a hint for those who will need information like that.

Appendix 4: "How to prevent infectious diseases"

Hints for the Facilitator:

  • If you decide to implement the task as a Facebook post, remember to promote the project „Start now”, adding hashtags and pictures
  • Remember to ask the post receivers and commentators about their opinion and invite them to get involved in a discussion
  • After activity, the Facilitator can distribute infographic “How to prevent infectious diseases” (Appendix 4) as an additional material.