Sibo Fights Malaria


A story book for children on the topic of malaria and how not to get it.


the life cycle of

the mosquito and

information on what

Malaria is and how it

can be prevented

and treated





book by



UP Centre for Sustainable Malaria Control

Published in South Africa by Lets Look (Pty) Ltd.

30 Verbenia Street, Lynnwood Ridge,

Pretoria 0081, Gauteng, South Africa.

Tel: +27(0)12 361 2329/3854 Fax: +27(0)12 361 8060.



© Copyright 2014 Lets Look (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.

No part of this publication can be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or

transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying,

recording or otherwise without the prior permission of Lets Look (Pty) Ltd.

© Text Copyright - Ginny Stone

ISBN: 978–1–77570–167–5

Printed in South Africa by Raptor Print

1 2 3 4 5 18 17 16 15 14

Designed and illustrated by Lets Look.


Sibo was eating her supper one day.

She and her Dad were chatting away.

Suddenly Mum started handing out pills,

saying “We’ve all been invited to Flat-Water Stills!”


“Yuk” said Sibo “I’m not eating that!

It’s a very odd colour and too big and too fat.”

She looked at her Dad for support but instead

he swallowed his pill and then ate some bread.

“I’m afraid dear Sibo you don’t have a choice”

said Dad in his very best no-nonsense voice.

“If you want to come with us up to the Stills

then you’ve just got to swallow these pills.”


“But why?” cried Sibo, “Whatever for?

I’ve never had to take such a thing before.”

Mum said “We’ve never been to this area.

It’s one of many places where they have malaria.”

Malaria is something you’d not like to get.

You can read all about it on the Internet.

It’s a dangerous fever that can make you quite sickly

Now be a good girl – and take your pill quickly.”





Sibo thought of asking Miss Ball at school

but she didn’t want to appear like a fool.

So she decided to Google instead

to make sure for herself she was not being misled!

There were so many facts – more than enough.

She discovered that malaria is very bad stuff.

When she learned it starts from a mosquito bite,

her eyes opened wide and she looked around in fright!


But she continued reading, quite a bit more.

Only a certain mosquito carried it, she saw.

The female Anopheles around at night time

would silently bite you with no buzzy whine.

Sibo quickly became fully aware

you wouldn’t find malaria just anywhere.

It only occurs in certain places world-wide

and Flat-Water Stills is one of the regions identified.

High malaria risk

Low malaria risk

No malaria


Sibo learned to her horror it kills kids who are small.

This sickness, thought Sibo, is not nice at all!

With 300 million cases each year

it is really an infection we all must fear.


Yet, there is treatment people can get

if they go to the doctor when they first start to sweat

or have a runny tummy and a thumping headache,

feel cold, sick and shiver and then start to shake.

It’s very much like having the ’flu or a cold

with bones that ache and make you feel old.

But one thing stands out and is clearly so true

going straight to the clinic is the best thing to do.



Runny tummy







Getting sick suddenly can give us a fright

But health workers are trained and know what is right.

They understand clearly just what to do

and supply the very best medicine for you.

BUT you’ll never get better if you don’t take it all.

Sibo looked up and stared at the wall.

She wondered if their family staying up at the Stills

could afford to take anti-malaria pills?


She knew that they didn’t have too much money.

The cost of medicine is really not funny!

Their family is large with many cousins too.

Maybe… there are other things people can do.

Ways and means to avoid getting sick…

Other clever things that may well do the trick.

Like making sure mozzies stay far away

without having to take a tablet each day.


Time for


She decided to question Miss Ball at school.

Now she knew a bit more, she would not feel like a fool.

She’d go to the library tomorrow for sure

to find books on malaria and learn a lot more.

Mum shouted out, calling time for bed.

Sibo closed her computer shaking her head.

She’d swallow that pill every night without fuss.

Not to do so she knew would be dangerous.


Sibo went to her room and searched all around.

Not a single mozzie was there to be found.

At least she knew now the mosquitoes they had

might give an itchy bite – but were not all that bad.

Dad popped in his head to whisper “Good night”.

He gave her a kiss and turned off the light.

Sibo snuggled down deep in the bed

pulling the blanket right over her head!


At breakfast Sibo said, “May I go to the library after school?

I’ll be a little late home – would that be cool?”

Mum stirred her coffee and heaved a great sigh

“Of course my child, I understand why.”



Sibo left for school quite early that day

going straight to her class without stopping to play.

She wanted to ask a question or two

about how NOT to get malaria and what you must do?


Her teacher asked why she wanted to know.

Sibo explained they were all going to go

to a malaria area at Flat-Water Stills.

She wondered if everyone there must take pills.

“Well,” said Miss Ball, “These insects start to bite

just before the sun goes down and the day turns to night.

You should wear protection on your arms and legs too.

A long-sleeved shirt, long pants and socks would do.


Mosquitoes need still water to lay their eggs in

so they could start a family at the bottom of a tin.

Make totally sure there are no stagnant pools

or puddles of water near homes and schools.

People should use net screens on their windows and doors

and also use repellent on the walls and floors.

These simple precautions help keep mozzies at bay.

Now Sibo - that’s enough about malaria today!”


Sibo sat in her class and daydreamed a lot

wondering if this repellent was healthy or not.

If something had been sprayed and you gave it a lick,

could that also make a person sick?

She couldn’t wait for school to end at two.

She’d go out to the library – that’s what she’d do.

There’s a librarian there who Sibo thought was nice

who had helped her before more than once or twice!


These places surely were guaranteed

to have all the information she needed to read.

She wanted to discover just how mozzies make you sick.

Did it take a long time? Or did it happen quick?

The mozzies she’d seen before were all rather small

bouncing madly around or flat against the wall.

Usually mum just squished them stone dead!

She’d never in her life seen a mosquito’s head.

She imagined they had fangs sharp, tiny and white

that sink into your skin as they start to bite.

She wondered if they bother other animals too

and if they bite a cow – does it taste like stew?


Sibo wiggled and sighed and shuffled around.

She dropped her book and it made a loud sound.

Miss Ball wagged her finger at Sibo and said,

“You can find out more later, now do your sums instead.”

Do your



When school finally finished, Wayne asked Sibo to play.

“No thanks”, she said, “I’m going to the library today.

I need to get some information about small meanie things

that cause tons of havoc and fly around on wings.”

Wayne looked confused scratching his head.

“Do you want some help? I could come with you instead.”

“That would be great” Sibo answered with glee.

“We’ll both have lots to learn and plenty to see.”


On the way to the library Sibo told her friend,

“We are going for a visit to the Stills next weekend.

I need to know more about mozzies and malaria

as the place we are staying at is a known malaria area.”

Sibo told the helpful lady just what she had to know.

She pointed in the direction that they should go.

Then she brought Sibo a book on entomology

“Look – it’s got lots of information on mosquitoes, you see.”


compound eye


mandibles and maxillae


hair follicle


lower lip

proboscis finds

a blood vessel

beneath skin



blood vessel

Sibo saw that mozzies have no teeth in their head

but just a pointy tip called a proboscis instead.

This has sharp knife cutters to slice into your skin

and some ugly tubes dangling to suck blood up from within.

The cycle starts when the female Anopheles lives in an area

and “bites” another person who has already got malaria.

She sucks up blood that contains malarial parasites too.

Then about a week later she infects somebody new.


The mozzie injects these parasites when she bites into your skin

which swells up and gets itchy from her saliva within.

The parasites roam about your body looking for various ways

to settle down in the liver for about 14 days.

Sometime later you could get sick as can be:

feel cold, sick and feverish, and then feel all shivery.

In fact, the symptoms feel a lot like the ’flu.

Go straight to the clinic and they will heal you!


For a week before they ventured up to the Stills

Sibo and her family swallowed all their pills.

Mum also bought some mozzie-repellent spray

which they ALL could use when they went away.

She bought citronella candles and mosquito coils too.

They’d burn them at night – that’s what they would do.

Sibo reminded her folks to pack long sleeves and jeans.

She said, “Just before dark, no skin must be seen!”

Dad laughed saying Sibo had “gone over the top”.

They would all take precautions but now she could stop.

They’d be careful not to get bitten and they would take their pills.

They would all have a great time at Flat-Water Stills.


They drove in the car for hours and more.

Sibo was certain it was lots more than four.

By the time they arrived there at the gate

it was getting so dark – it was really quite late.


The family gathered quickly around the car

helping carry things in – it wasn’t that far.

Sibo’s cousin Mpho showed her their room

saying, “You’ve never seen a mozzie net before, I assume?”

Sibo looked at the net hanging over the bed.

“No” she said, shaking her head.

“How does it work – what does it do?”

Mpho laughed loudly “It keeps mosquitoes off you.”


The kids all had supper and watched a TV show.

Then mum said to Sibo “Okay! Off you go.

It’s late my child – time to fall into bed

with that mozzie net over your body and head.”

Mum kissed Mpho and Sibo good night.

Then she rolled down the nets and tucked them in tight.

Sibo felt like a princess, or maybe a queen

nicely cocooned in that mozzie net screen.


Then Sibo sniffed and wrinkled her nose.

“This net doesn’t exactly smell like a rose.”

“I know,” said Mpho “It’s cleaned in repellent stuff.

Don’t worry – you’ll get accustomed soon enough.”

Sibo said “Those anti-malaria pills cost a lot it seems to me?”

“Yes” replied Mpho, “But if we fall sick we get treatment free.”

“But”, she said, “We’re also very careful in many other ways.

We use nets and screens and anti-mozzie sprays.

Although sometimes we are careless and can easily forget

to wear protective clothing – or to use our net.

Once my brother Sandile got infected and was sickly.

Now when we forget – we remind each other quickly.”


The next day dawned sunny and so bright.

Sibo and Mpho got up at first light.

They gobbled down breakfast and went out to play.

Sibo said “Let’s be Malaria Detectives today.”

“Great idea” said Mpho “Let’s bring other kids too.

They’ll quite enjoy a game that is exciting and new.”

And soon they had gathered some eager detectives

with Sibo giving orders and other directives.


“Mozzies lay their eggs in still water that lies around

so let’s find these containers and bury them underground.

Then do screen inspections – properly and slowly

we need to make sure that those mozzie screens are not holey!”

They found lots of screens with a hole or two

and Sibo showed the kids exactly what to do.

They closed the holes using patches of net from a screen thrown away.

The people cheered! The Malaria Detectives had saved the day!


It’s a house

for bats.

Then all the kids took Sibo proudly to their school

and showed her something else that was very, very cool.

At the very top of a pole made from local wood

a square box that looked like a little house stood.

Sibo got excited “What on earth is that?”

Mpho replied “It’s a house for the bats.

They sleep during the day and come out at night

then swoop down and chomp up mosquitoes mid-flight.”


At lunchtime Sibo noticed a small kid touch the wall

and then started eating without washing at all.

“Stop!” shouted Sibo, completely horrified.

“Those walls have been sprayed with insecticide.

You must now wash your hands before you eat stuff.

Use soap, too! Plain water’s not enough.”

Her auntie agreed and said “Yes Sibo, it’s true.

We must be careful not to spray near open food too.”


When Sibo and her family got back from the Stills

they had to continue taking ALL their malaria pills.

They did not get sick as they had done everything right.

But Sibo misses sleeping under a mozzie net at night.


Malaria is a severe disease that can be prevented and

treated. It is transmitted by the bite of a mosquito called

Anopheles and it is the female mosquito that transmits

malaria. It bites humans to suck blood as it needs blood

to grow its eggs. If you see signs of the disease (fever,

chills, tummy ache, headache, nausea, achy bones) go

to a health worker quickly for a diagnosis to be made so

that effective treatment can be prescribed.

Did you know

• Only female Anopheles mosquitoes bite humans and animals. Males feed on flower nectar.

• When a mosquito bites, she uses two tubes: one is an enzyme tube to prevent blood from clotting

and the other to suck blood.

• For most people, symptoms begin 10 days to 4 weeks after infection, although a person may

feel ill as early as 7 days or as late as 1 year later.

• Mosquitoes fly at speeds between 1,6 and 2,4 kilometres per hour.

• All mosquitoes need water to breed. Some species can breed in puddles left after a rainstorm.

• An adult mosquito can live 5 – 6 months.

• Mosquitoes can detect carbon dioxide from 23 metres away. Carbon dioxide, which humans

and other animals produce, is the key signal to mosquitoes that a potential blood meal is near.

Therefore you need to cover your body about half an hour before sunset and sunrise.

Some remedies people use to stop mozzie bites from itching…

A dab of vanilla essence, Vicks, spit, tee tree oil, rubbing alcohol, rub a peeled clove of garlic on

the bite, aloe vera, calamine lotion, lemon, clear nail polish, deodorant and heat – but not too hot

to burn you! If you have any remedy that has not been mentioned here and works well – please

email Sibo and we’ll put them on the website.



Citronella (candles)







Repellent (as in Mosquito Repellent)


– Genus of mosquitoes that spread malaria

– is one of the essential oils obtained from the

leaves and stems of different species of

Lemongrass. Insects do not like the smell of it.

– wrapped, sheltered

– the scientific study of insects

– mosquito spray

– the elongated mouthpart of a mosquito

used for sucking blood

– bugs, pests

– safety measure

– something that keeps mosquitoes away

– still, not moving


Lets Look Publishers and Ginny acknowledge The National Department of Health and the

University of Pretoria Centre for Sustainable Malaria Control for making this book possible.


eggs with

floats on

either side




1st instar larva









1. Eggs are laid singly on the water surface

2. Young larvae emerge from hatching eggs

3. 1st instar larva feeds and grows

4. 4th instar larva transforms into a pupa

5. Pupa develops into an adult mosquito

6. Adult mosquito emerges from the pupa

7. Adult female mosquito feeds, infecting the

human host, then finds a mate

8. Adult mosquitos mate after which the

female will lay eggs











discarded pupa


discarded 4th

instar larva skin





Hey! Visit my website at:

Sibo Fights Malaria

Sibo and her family are going on another

holiday, but she wonders why she has to

take pills before she goes there. She soon

finds out that it is a malaria hot-spot and

that certain mosquitoes are to blame for

spreading the disease. She learns all about

malaria – the severe symptoms, what

causes it and how to prevent it.

Let’s change our mind-set and start

caring for the Earth and each other…

just like Sibo and her friends.

Published in South Africa by Lets Look (Pty) Ltd.

30 Verbenia Street, Lynnwood Ridge, Pretoria 0081, Gauteng, South Africa.

Tel: +27(0)12 361 2329/3854 Fax: +27(0)12 361 8060.

E.mail: • Website:

Titles in this series include:

Sibo Makes a Difference

Sibo and the Veggie Bed

Sibo Saves Water

Sibo and the Sea

Sibo in Space

Sibo Tackles Trash

Sibo Thinks Positively

Sibo Sizes Things Up

Sibo Likes Life

Sibo Mixes Things Up

Sibo Saves a Stray

Sibo Fights Malaria

Sibo Looks Right

Sibo on the Move

ISBN 978-1-77570-167-5

9 781775 701675


© Copyright reserved Lets Look (Pty) Ltd 2014.

© Text Copyright Ginny Stone

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