After recognizing that malaria is often a major focus of global health NGOs, Senior Fellow Simon Bruun Bech decided to base his project on malaria as well as other common treatable illnesses, in hopes of raising awareness within the high-income country of Denmark. Simon believes it is important to support a national health system, which can work to eliminate common issues such as hypertension and cardiac arrests. Simon decided to support Medicines Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders), in hopes of raising awareness of these everyday health issues and increasing the breadth of the project.
The exhibition sent a clear message that malaria deserves Danish people’s attention even though they are far removed from the endemic zones of the disease.
Simon created a small health exhibit on the back of a trailer that was mobile throughout Aarhaus, Denmark drawing the attention of passerby.
With a baby and school bag in the exhibition, Simon was able to symbolize a need for accessible education, which is often a problem once children become ill with malaria. Simon also created a quiz that interested participants could take in order to test their knowledge of malaria.
The project also addressed cardiac arrest by demonstrating CPR training on the streets. It helped people learn the importance of being aware of possibly life-saving steps everyday citizens can utilize. Through monthly donations, support was handed from the people of Aarhus (and the project itself) to medical field work by MSF in low resource settings and areas of conflict. Selling coffee, tea, and healthy snacks from the bicycle, the donations to MSF were financed. The combination of private funding through the street sale and public awareness raising gave the project a dual action effect.
By interacting with everyday citizens on the streets Simon was able to raise awareness for malaria and other common illnesses that Doctors without Borders fight against. He hopes to complete another project like this in the future.