The primary focus of the health education team is getting information into the community on how to combat the common health problems faced in West Africa, including:
• Malaria
• Tuberculosis
• Childhood illnesses
• Family planning
• Poor nutrition

A significant proportion of the Gambian population are illiterate which means that traditional printed methods of communication such as poster campaigns are largely ineffective.

For a number of years puppetry and drama groups have been used by TARUD to spread key health messages to the wider community. Travelling Puppet Shows and Womens' Drama Groups have performed all over The Gambia – visiting village centres and clinics, and giving regular TV and radio appearances.

A health survey conducted in 2002 clearly indicated that the messages had been remembered and acted on by a majority of the sample in Gunjur and Tujereng.

One of the challenges now faced is how TARUD can effectively measure behaviour change (in response to the health education messages) and how that can be properly documented so that its impact can be measured, which in turn would lead to improved methods of health education and better health.

papier-mache-puppet-making-workshopRecently, the issue was raised by TARUD that the majority of trained puppeteers are currently living outside The Gambia and that there is a real need for further training. MBG was pleased that it could respond to this challenge by sending out Petra Rohr-Rouendaal one of the original trainers in puppetry who spent 2 weeks in Gunjur in October 2013 to deliver a training course to the health team and facilitate puppet making workshops in the local schools.


If you have any creative and innovative ideas on how to deliver key health messages or on how to collate and monitor the educational success rates then please get in touch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..