Educational game snakes ladders

The DAHW educational game "Snakes and ladders educates in a playful way about the topics of One Health, leprosy and tuberculosis and shows the connections between human, animal and environmental health as well as the influence of living conditions on certain diseases.

An ie of the colleagues of DAHW India (GLRA India) served as a template: They had used the age-old Indian game model, which was already in use in the 2. Century v. Chr. is said to have been played, for tuberculosis education in schools further developed. Read more about the historical details below.

The version of our Indian colleagues is on the back of the board. Here the events are printed directly on the field.

The fields with the symbol of DAHW indicate events that relate to tuberculosis and its treatment in various ways.


On one side of the board is the original of our Indian colleagues, which is currently used in schools in India for tuberculosis education. On the other side is the "German Game illustrated, which we have derived from the Indian version. We thank GLRA India for the permission of use.

The game is opened with a round of dice. The person/group with the highest number of points starts the game.

The game in action. Photo: DAHW

educational game snake ladders

Sponsored by ENGAGEMENT GLOBAL with funds from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

The aim of the game is to be the first to reach the 100th square. Here, the number of dice on the last throw can lead to the game field 100 or beyond. If you want to increase the excitement, you agree before the game begins that you have to reach the playing field 100 exactly.

If the number of dice on the last roll exceeds 100, the game piece is reset from the location by this number. If one reaches a snakehead field, one slips again into the middle or even lower area of the game.

When reaching an event field (marked with the DAHW logo), the corresponding information from the instructions is read out loud for all to hear and the given move is made. Inquiries to be made. Exchange. Discussions are encouraged. Exchange and discussions are welcome.

DAHW Germany and GLRA India wish you a lot of fun while playing the game!

Included in the game:

Further information:

India: An important project country of DAHW

Educational game snakes ladders

Awareness campaign for truck drivers at transshipment points. Photo: Mario Schmitt / DAHW

India is located in the geographical region of South Asia and in 2018 counts ca. 1.33 billion people. It will replace China as the most populous country in a few years. DAHW has been present in India for 50 years. Active in health work. India is an important location for DAHW because of its size, high population and many TB and leprosy cases. That is why DAHW – registered as GLRA India – works in three offices on the subcontinent: in Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata. The work against tuberculosis, leprosy and other neglected tropical diseases such as z. B. Lymphatic Filariasis (Elephantiasis) is done in close cooperation with governmental structures to fill existing gaps in the system and to cover needs that go beyond classical medical interventions.

In DAHW's work against tuberculosis, the focus is on people who live in poverty ("slum population"). Here the focus is on the following:

– Case finding – disease management – treatment of people with forms of TB that do not affect the lungs


educational game snakes ladders

Children playing in an Ethiopian settlement. Photo: Laura Lewandowski / DAHW

DAHW activity since 1957

Bisidimo was the first relief project of DAHW, here a leprosy hospital was built for the people in the central east of Ethiopia near the city of Harar from 1957 onwards. The new hospital on the Bisidimo River has been the hub of leprosy work from the beginning, with people with leprosy coming from all over the country. Many have settled in the surrounding area after their treatment because they were expelled from their villages. The resulting village of Bisidimo today has more than 10.000 inhabitants. Bisidimo is now a general hospital providing medical services to the entire region and continues to be the reference hospital for leprosy.

DAHW and its partners support around 50.000 people with late effects of leprosy. In addition, almost 20.000 people with disabilities organized in self-help groups and also receive support. An important partner is the National Control Program for Leprosy and Tuberculosis (TB), through which DAHW provides training and further education for medical staff in the health posts. The aim is to improve the early detection of leprosy and TB, since in the case of a late diagnosis, the affected persons themselves must expect severe damage and infect many other people, mostly in the family environment. Together with other partners of ILEP, the International Federation of Leprosy Relief Associations, DAHW supports the “All Africa Leprosy Tuberculosis and Rehabilitation Training Centre” in Addis Ababa. countries for the leprosy-. TB work. Ahmed Mohammed is head of the DAHW office in Addis Ababa and regional representative for East Africa and Arabia.


educational game snakes ladders

Bright spots are one of the symptoms of leprosy. Photo: Dr. Thiers / DAHW

Leprosy is a chronic infection of the skin, peripheral nerves and rarely other organs caused by Mycobacterium leprae.

As a disease of poverty, leprosy plays a rather minor role in rich industrialized countries; most people in Germany do not know very much about it. It is all the more important for us to inform and educate about leprosy.

The good news: leprosy is curable. Nevertheless, every year between 220.000 and 250.000 people worldwide are newly infected, mainly in tropical and subtropical countries. Just as frightening as this figure is the fact that the social exclusion of those affected by the disease continues even in the 21st century. Leprosy is still part of everyday life in the twenty-first century. Because leprosy is a “visible” disease.

On the following pages we would like to introduce you to the disease leprosy – from the pathogen to the clinical picture, from diagnostics to therapy. Those who know the medical background of the disease can imagine the extent of the social consequences. More than 200.000 people with leprosy-related disabilities are currently cared for by DAHW. A work that is at least as important as the medical therapy, and which we could not do without the support of many people in Germany.

The history of the game “Snakes and Ladders

educational game snakes ladders

Old game board

The game "snakes and ladders" goes back to an ancient Indian game model called Mokshapat or Moksha Patamu. According to some historians, it was already known in the 2nd century. Century v. Chr. played, others write that in the 13. Century living poets. Religious teacher Swami Gyandev developed the game. A similar game called "Dog. Jackal" was also used in ancient Egypt around 1.900 v.900 v. Chr. proven.

Originally, the game was developed and used to assist in religious education for children. This was about the important terms from Hinduism "destiny" and "desire". The ladders stood for the good deeds a person can do, the snakes symbolized the evil that people can do. Thus the good deeds bring the player closer to the game field "Hundred", which in the original version was equated with "Nirvana" (= the absolute nothingness). Another term for "Nirvana" is the Hindi word "Moksha".

This term is part of the original name of the game. The attainment of nirvana is the goal of every follower of Hinduism and is comparable to what is called heaven in our country. The evil deeds bring the player back closer to the game field "one", this symbolized rebirth into a lower life, an important belief of Hinduism.

The first versions of the game included more snakes than ladders to make it clear that a "good" life path is far more difficult to follow than living an "evil" life. End of the 19. In the middle of the 19th century the British colonial masters brought the game from India to Great Britain. However, the religious content of the Indian original was not adopted. In 1892 the first game was launched in England. From here it spread to other European countries. Later became popular in North America as well. In some variants, the snakes and ladders were replaced by other symbols, including circus scenes or images of horses. All these variants, however, were based on "climbing up" to a higher row or a higher level.


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