Global Education

Teacher resources to encourage a global
perspective across the curriculum

Malaria - preventable and treatable?

Year level: 9-10

Students demonstrate knowledge of the symptoms, treatment and preventative measures associated with malaria; analyse data to identify and explain trends, patterns, anomalies and generalisations; and evaluate the effectiveness of programs designed to diminish the spread and impact of malaria in specific communities.

The Malaria Survey team checks houses for mosquito nets in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

The Malaria Survey team checks houses for mosquito nets in Honiara, Solomon Islands. Photo by Jeremy Miller for AusAID

Social justice and human rights, Sustainable futures

Australian Curriculum links

Learning areas


Year 9

Analyse how the construction and interpretation of texts, including media texts, can be influenced by cultural perspectives and other texts (ACELY1739)

Year 10

Analyse and evaluate how people, cultures, places, events, objects and concepts are represented in texts, including media texts, through language, structural and/or visual choices (ACELY1749)


Year 9

The perceptions people have of place, and how this influences their connections to different places (ACHGK065)

Year 10

The different ways of measuring and mapping human wellbeing and development, and how these can be applied to measure differences between places (ACHGK076)

The issues affecting the development of places and their impact on human wellbeing, drawing on a study from a developing country or region in Africa, South America or the Pacific Islands (ACHGK078)

The role of international and national government and non-government organisations’ initiatives in improving human wellbeing in Australia and other countries (ACHGK081)

General capabilities

  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Personal and social capability

Cross-curriculum priorities

  • Sustainability 

Activity 1: What is the link between baldness and malaria?

Students learn about the impact of malaria and about level of investment in its treatment and prevention.

Learn about how malaria spreads using one or more of these links:

List, as a class, any similarities and differences between baldness and malaria you can think of. 

View the first eight minutes of the video Bill Gates on mosquitoes, malaria and education.

  • What is your reaction to the way Gates uses the comparison of baldness and malaria, and live mosquitoes to deliver his presentation?
  • Why do you think he has constructed the talk in this way?
  • To what extent is it effective in getting his message across?
  • What are the three most important messages of this video?

Review Gate's presentation in small groups to decide which are the most important messages.

Activity 2: Preventable and treatable?

Students analyse information about actions taken to prevent and treat malaria.

Select one of the following narratives to read as a group and answer the questions below:

Record your answers to the following questions:

  • What kinds of tools are being used to fight malaria?
  • Who is the focus of the strategy?
  • What kind of success is being achieved?
  • Who is implementing the strategy? (local government, aid agencies, international organisations or a combination of these)
  • Is the strategy a once-off program or does it have the potential for long-term impact?
  • What might be learnt from this story?

Share your answers with the whole class.

Identify the different approaches that are used in the strategy to eradicate malaria.
Sort these approaches into 'prevention' and 'treatment'.

Malaria prevention toolMalaria treatment tool

Debate: Prevention is more important than treatment.

Activity 3: Making a difference

Students determine how geographical tools might be used in the fight against malaria and their own response.

Explore a map showing insecticide-treated net coverage in Africa.

  • To what extent does the map provide enough data to identify trends, patterns, anomalies and generalisations?
  • What kinds of conclusions can be drawn from this maps that would inform governments or aid agencies about the best ways to halt or diminish the spread of malaria in a specific area?

Explore the problem of malaria in a virtual community using one of these links:

The Peace Corps Challenge Game asks participants to take the role of an aid worker assigned to a fictional village faced with eight critical challenges, one of which is the incidence of malaria. [Note it needs Flash Player 9 and its non-linear structure means that participants may be drawn into dealing with a range of issues faced by the village (water, contamination, sanitation, microfinance, soil run-off etc).]

The Malaria Challenge game gives additional scaffolding to the topic.

After completing the selected game, discuss the following:

  • What impact did the outbreak of malaria have on village life?
  • Which of the solutions provides immediate relief and which are more long-term?
  • Why is it important to have both short-term and long-term solutions?
  • Which solutions provided more sustainable outcomes (that is, outcomes that will not damage the village's resources and that will benefit the village in the future)?
  • If you were designing this game, would you recommend other solutions to the problem of malaria as options?
  • What challenges would an aid worker face in committing to a two-year assignment in this village?

Select one of the following ways of implementing your learning:

  • World Malaria Day provides a platform for recognising the global fight towards zero malaria deaths. Visit the World Malaria Day website and look at the specific slogan used for each year. Using what you have learnt in the previous activities, suggest a slogan that would be an effective phrase for World Malaria Day next year.
  • Develop your own idea for action in responding to this topic.

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The Malaria Survey team checks houses for mosquito nets in Honiara, Solomon Islands.
Photo by Jeremy Miller for AusAID
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The Malaria Survey team checks houses for mosquito nets in Honiara, Solomon Islands. Photo by Jeremy Miller for AusAID