Monday, October 19, 2015

Getting Drunk in Kenya - Cheap Beer Goggles

As you know I am in Kenya doing a global health scholar year between my third and fourth year of medical school (I found out recently that people call me a tweener). I am working with HIV infected children. One of my projects is to come up with peer group topic agendas with our amazing pediatric counselors at AMPATH. We are discussing topics like depression, coping skills, hygiene, safe sex, children's rights, and so many more. 

One of the topics one of the counselors came up with was alcohol and drug abuse, which is a very common problem in Kenya. In Eldoret, where I work, a study of college student found that the is a lifetime prevalence of alcohol use was 51.9%.(1) Traffic accidents are a major problem in Kenya, and drinking has been linked to the increasing rates of traffic accidents. A survey in Eldoret hospitals assessed blood alcohol levels of individuals involved in traffic accidents 23.4% had positive blood alcohol concentrations and 12.2% were intoxicated.(2) It has been shown that those who drink and use illicit drugs have been found to have a higher risk of acquiring HIV. (3)

Due to its prevalence the counselors were inspired to educate kids and teens about alcohol and drug abuse. Many institutions in the states use beer goggles that mimic being intoxicated. These googles cost about $100, which is very steep especially in a resource poor place like Kenya. I decided to improvise and make these goggles at almost no cost. Here is what you need:

1. Toilet paper/paper towel cardboard cylinder 
2. Clear plastic bags
3. Scissors/knife
4. staples, or tape, or rubber bands

1. Cut a toilet paper cardboard cylinder in half. 
2. Cut the plastic bags into 3' X 3' squares. 
3. Fasten the plastic bag to one end of the cut cylinder with tape, staples or a rubberband

Hold them over your eyes and enjoy. Have the kids navigate an obstacle course holding the glasses over their eyes. 

1. Atwoli L, Mungla PA, Ndung’u MN, Kinoti KC, Ogot EM: Prevalence of substances use among college students in Eldoret, western Kenya. BMC Psychiatry 2011, 11:34.
2. Odero W. Alcohol-related road traffic injuries in Eldoret Kenya. East Afr Med J. 1998;75(12):708–711.
3. Mugisha F. & Zulu E. M. (2004) The influence of alcohol, drugs and substance abuse on sexual relationships and perception of risk to HIV infection among adolescents in the informal settlements of NairobiJournal of Youth Studies 7, 279–293

1 comment:

  1. I think this is a really good article. You make this information interesting and engaging. You give readers a lot to think about and I appreciate that kind of writing. safety goggles