Talking about Chagas disease. Promoting health through social and engagement construction in a variety of educational contexts

This project will develop and distribute educational strategies and resources to tackle the problem of Chagas disease in a range of educational contexts in Argentina (primarily in the cities of La Plata, Buenos Aires and surrounding areas)


CONTEXT

Sociodemographic data

The activities are to be implemented in primarily urban contexts (while retaining the option of working in rural contexts), with a range of subjects and institutions, including families, schools, educational cooperatives, health centers, science museums, campaigning bodies, clubs and social organizations, and also encompassing public spaces such as parks and squares.

Sociopolitical and health situation

Argentina is at a difficult sociopolitical juncture, with a socioeconomic crisis that has undermined rights in a number of areas, including education and public health. Reduced spending in these areas affects children, young people and society in general, and also has an impact on attempts to tackle Chagas disease.

PROJECT

General objective:

Promoting responses to the problem of Chagas disease from an integrated, innovative perspective, in different educational and community contexts, in which health is understood as one of the drivers of social and community construction.

Specific objectives:

• To provide up-to-date, multi-dimensional content about the problem of Chagas for children, young people and adults, in their role both as subjects and as social agents, and to promote critical reflection on the complexity of this disease and the various approaches to it.

• To develop and promote the implementation of innovative education and communication strategies and resources to address the problem of Chagas in different educational and community contexts.

Summary of project activities:

• Chagas month (August/September 2019 and 2020) in La Plata. Program of talks, performances, activities for families and the general public in various settings

• Chagas month (August/September 2019 and 2020) in Buenos Aires city. Talks and workshops in scientific and educational institutions, such as the "Bernardino Rivadavia" Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences

• Complementary Activity (September/October 2019 and 2020): course delivered by National University of La Plata (UNLP) for university students enrolled on any degree program at that institution

• Training courses and workshops for teachers in different subjects and levels (early years, primary and secondary). These courses promote the development of innovative classroom activities and of freestanding materials

• Design, development and distribution of a range of communication materials and teaching resources

• Participation in scientific communication, health promotion and academic exchange activities

• "Interactive, kaleidoscopic, touring exhibition, to talk about Chagas." Touring exhibition, created in 2019, including both the transfer and installation of exhibition material and the development of training events for teams hosting the exhibition in their spaces or institutions (museums, schools, universities, community organizations etc.).

Planned outcomes:

1. Have a social impact on the issue of Chagas in different educational and social settings, through a range of activities: Chagas month, Complementary Activity for university students, courses and workshops for teachers in different subjects and levels; and talks, exhibitions and workshops for the general public.

2. Create a series of slides to support an interactive travelling exhibition and, once the exhibition has been created, display it in a variety of contexts.

3. Create teaching materials for courses, exhibitions and workshops where people can participate in project activities.

4. Translate contents of group website into English and Portuguese to access a larger and more diverse audience.

5. Publish results of analysis of group proposals in academic journals to publicize the work in these settings and encourage other agents working in complex areas with social impacts.

BENEFICIARIES

Direct beneficiaries:

The members of educational communities in schools and universities where the project is implemented, members of the "Living With Chagas" group at Hospital Muñiz, and members of the general public who participate in activities or visit or follow the project on social media. In total, 10,000 people will benefit.

Indirect beneficiaries:

All those people who access information, material or content generated by the project, not directly but as a result of the communicator or multiplier effect of other beneficiaries or through the media (TV, radio and press). The population of potential beneficiaries is thus as broad as the project proposals.