Resources – Explorers

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These ideas are for the help and support of participating leaders. They are in no way prescriptive. Indeed we should welcome your programme ideas and ask you to send them to our website.

Understand the debilitating effect of low levels of general health.

Plot GP practices and hospitals per head of population on a fairly local map, or on an area of the UK. Try to find the same data for an African country. Ensure the Explorers understand that due to the lack of transport and money most people have to walk to the doctor, sometimes for hours, sometimes for days. How would they do this, especially in the wet season if there were no roads and they were feeling ill?

Be aware of problems caused by lack of clean drinking water.

Bring in some filthy, muddy water and work on ways of filtering it. Is it then free of micro-organisms? If you are brave you can add the likelihood of parasites here too. What insects can the Explorers breed in muddy water? Experiment and discuss ways to improve the safety of water drawn from muddy water-holes or even puddles in the dry season. How would drinking this affect the general level of health?

Be aware of problems caused by lack of clean drinking water.

Relay game. To be played in teams. Each team has several litres of water in a big container at one side of the field and an empty container of the same size at the other side of the field. They should balance an empty 2 or 4 litre ice cream box on their head, run to the container holding the water, put some into their ice cream box, put it back on their head, run/walk to the empty container and pour in the water they have carried. This can be judged after a set time to see which team has the most water in their container, or see which team empties the first container or fills the second first. How much is lost on the way? The teams can discuss their tactics such as whether they wish to walk slowly but carry a lot of water or to run fast with just a little. They can/should be forbidden to hold the ice cream box at all.

Be aware of the implications of malaria for sufferers of AIDS or other illnesses.

What do they know of other tropical illnesses? Obviously people suffering from dirty water or AIDS will have a lower resistance to attacks of malaria, and malaria will lower their resistance to AIDS and other illnesses. What do the Explorers know about AIDS? What can they find out about other tropical diseases? They can research online or go to a museum or invite a speaker.

Know how to recognise and initially treat an attack.

Information about attacks of malaria can be found on several websites such as  Malaria Symptoms NHS. The progress of the attack should be described, but this is also a good time to revise how to look after and transport a patient. Groups can demonstrate how they would look after a “patient” (i.e. one of their number) and the other Explorers can judge them and give them feedback and points. It should be remembered that many families live some days’ walk away from medical help and/or cannot afford doctors and medicines so a racing game with a patient on a stretcher could be played over an obstacle course.

This is also a good time to revise general first aid.

Discuss the problems of affording drugs to avoid and/or treat the illness.

This may need some research into the costs of malaria drugs and the average income per head or per family in the partner country, but the discussions may spread to include such topics as the profits of the drug companies, the morality of people having to live on or below the poverty line, the fairness of the world’s distribution of wealth etc.

The life cycle of a mosquito.

There are many websites and books where one can find this information. It can be presented to the unit by the leader or some of the Explorers can research it to present to the unit. Using this knowledge can the Explorers think of other ways to prevent malaria?

Explorers can compete to draw the nastiest correct picture of a mosquito.

The pioneering opportunities when looking for ways of preventing stagnant water are best addressed outside in the open air.

Explain why impregnated nets are beneficial.

What do they know about insecticides?

Here we have some interesting indoor pioneering – how to hang a net when the walls and ceiling are not very sound and the position of the beds is not fixed. The Explorers could use string, but it would be more interesting to make string by twisting grasses and stalks together. Details of how to erect a malaria net can be found here

Work out how best to source and distribute nets.

It may be easier to start this using transport and distribution methods in the UK so that they understand the problem before adding the restrictions caused by the conditions of a third world country.

Scouting in Uganda/sub-Saharan Africa.

There are several UK Scout counties with links to Scouts in African countries and many young people have visited Scouts in these countries. They would be willing to come and talk to the unit about their experiences in the country and the Scouts they have met there. Alternatively the ADC(I) or ACC(I) might come and talk to the unit, or the leader could find out more about Scouting in the target country and then tell the Explorers.  .