Health

Health Projects

Menstrual Health Management (MHM) Project

Due to lack of sanitary products, girls and women find ways to improvise their menstrual health hygiene. The materials used have been linked to certain reproductive tract infections (RTIs) and because these materials offer limited absorbency, it’s challenging for girls to stay in school and continue their education during their menstrual cycle.

Luhwahwa Health Project

Women and girls making handmade reusable pads.

Our Approach

We support the health of girls and women in low-resource settings and thereby empower them as active contributors to society by offering a complete package to menstrual hygiene management through:

  • providing health education and counseling among schoolchildren (at puberty), to parents and teachers in schools, and to villagers (male and female of reproductive age) in the entire community.
  • conducting sanitary pad distribution actions (purchased pads, donations, locally made pads).
  • teaching girls and women to make reusable pads locally.
  • provision of medication to treat dysmenorrhoea (cramps and menstrual associated pains).
  • teaching girls and women soap-making skills (soap is obviously essential not only when reusable sanitary pads are used, but for entire personal hygiene practices).
  • establishing child friendly sanitation facilities in schools (toilets, washrooms, emergency kits, uniforms, pads, knickers, etc).
Luwahwa Health Project

Women and girls with their handmade reusable pads.

Contributing Factors

Lack of Education

According to UNICEF, 1 in 10 school-aged African girls either skip school during menstruation or drop out entirely because of lack of hygiene solutions. A girl who is absent from school for 4 days each month loses 13 learning days, equivalent to 2 weeks of learning in every school term. A girl in primary school (3 years long) loses approximately 18 weeks out of 108 school weeks. A girl in secondary school (4 years long) loses 156 learning days, equivalent to almost 24 weeks out of 144 weeks of school. This is a clear indication that our children are becoming school drop-outs while still in school. This absenteeism is the leading cause of poor academic performance and subsequent dropping out of school among girls.

Studies in Uganda and Ghana have shown that absenteeism decreases significantly when girls have access to sanitary pads and underwear. Girls who complete secondary school are less likely to get HIV or become pregnant when they are young and more likely to have fewer children, earn higher wages in their jobs, and educate their own children.

Poverty

Menstrual hygiene is clearly a neglected issue, yet it is a basic need of all women. The monthly expenditure for sanitary protection is about 2,000 UGX (just almost $1 US), costs prohibitive to a poor family in which the average monthly household income is about UGX 30,000 ($12 US). As the Forum of African Women Educationalists (FAWE) states:

. . . buying sanitary protection means a monthly spending equivalent of four radio batteries or enough paraffin to last a family one month. Where men most often control the household budget, how can girls succeed in getting sanitary materials on to the priority list? Where sanitary protection for one girl may cost around a tenth of a monthly family income, how can a household afford this where there are 2 or 3 girls?

Community Health Project

Diseases that have largely been eradicated in the developed world still have immeasurable impacts on populations living in extreme poverty around the globe. The poor are more vulnerable to illnesses because they usually live in unhygienic conditions, have low levels of health awareness, and fail to take preventive measures.

LUYODEFO Health Community Health Project

Women collecting water from a contaminated source.

Our Approach

  • Promote Preventative Knowledge

We are educating villagers on specific, pertinent health issues to help them self-diagnose, understand the root causes of diseases and the benefits of seeking early treatment, learn clean birth practices, and recognize birth complication warning signs. Because many people use traditional remedies, we also advocate for integration of herbal medicine.

We are also implementing sanitation (clean water provision to communities; building appropriate toilets in schools) and access to ‘cheap soap’ supply as key solutions in disease prevention.

  • Promote Demand for Quality Healthcare

We are working to provide rural public health centres with resources to help the medical staff best serve the poor people. This is an attempt to strengthen the public sector’s delivery of services to thousands of people without access to basic health and medical care.

By empowering traditional birth attendants [TBAs], community health workers (CHW), village health teams (VHT), and local leaders, we are actively helping advocate for early diagnosis and treatment using modern medicine practices.

  • Promote Access to Healthcare

In order to provide ‘mobile clinics’ (supported by community-based heath micro-insurance), we are developing direct contacts with health facilities to deliver basic primary healthcare to thousands of people living in rural areas that have little or no access to healthcare.

LUYODEFO Health Community Health Project

People collecting water and washing clothes in a contaminated source.

The proposed mobile clinic will provide health education, children weight-height monitoring, regular deworming, rapid testing (malaria, HIV/AIDS, syphilis, HCG, diabetes, etc.), basic treatment ‘on the spot,’ self-testing kits and insulin for diabetic patients, and resources for those needing ongoing care to clinics in the region.

Reversing The Trend

LUYODEFO Community Health Project

Director of Programs for 50 Cents. Period. (our partner) conducts a health assessment.

LUYODEFO believes that primary healthcare is a basic human right and recognizes that a healthy population is essential for growth, development, and prosperity in every society. We believe only ‘healthy people’ can break the poverty cycle. By establishing a strong foundation of healthcare and a solid infrastructure of good health in rural remote communities, we offer a chance to reverse the trend of poverty and create a brighter future.

Our programs are designed to benefit young
people (especially orphans and vulnerable children)
and women (especially chronically ill patients).
We hope that by empowering young people
to build communities, we can create long-lasting
change through generations.