Good health is essential to a safe and stable childhood. But health issues impact all areas of personal development and a child’s ability to thrive.
Many of the orphans and vulnerable children in our program have lost their parents due to chronic health conditions such as those complicated by the HIV virus. Often, the children are cared for by elderly grandparents suffering their own health problems. These young people have seen first-hand the terrible toll health problems can have on their families.
Rafiki supports these children through a range of health programs to tackle the challenges caused by disease and ill health. Our strategy is holistic, involving prevention, education, treatment, water and sanitation activities.
Rafiki touches countless lives through these specific programs:
- WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) programs in 17 schools in Central Uyoma. This includes the provision of sanitary pads to adolescent girls to enhance their school retention, and health talks through clubs to strengthen positive health behaviors among children.
- Medical and nutritional assessments, counseling and treatment among the children with aim of reducing cases of minor ailments and malnutrition.
- School competitions among children with the aim of developing IEC (Information, Education and communication) materials with health messages.
- Training and mentoring of over 100 Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) as the key drivers of community health. A range of health topics include infant and maternal health; and management and treatment of malaria at the household level using RDT (Rapid Diagnostic Test) kits.
- Campaigns on jigger eradication by coaching Community Health Volunteers and mentoring families infested with jiggers on proper hygiene. Watch Our Jiggers Video
- Family planning campaigns through provision of family planning commodities and demand creation via road shows targeting young women of reproductive age. This is done in collaboration with two health facilities.
- Provision of insecticide treated mosquito nets to vulnerable children, lactating mothers and the elderly.
- Improving the physical outlook of two health facilities through renovation exercises and building the capacity of the staff therein with the view of enhancing quality of services offered to all the clients. We train Health facility board members on project management, proposal writing, and leadership.
Our health intervention programs are expanded to integrate families, schools and the community at large, in acknowledgement of the interconnectedness of people’s lives in the village setting. A caregiver’s ailing health will impact the children under her care dramatically. Similarly, treatment of contagious conditions and strategies to improve uptake of good health practices at home can be influenced by education campaigns and norms set by schools and the community.
Rarieda sub-County is a collection of communities suffering many of the health problems specific to poverty. Preventable conditions like jigger infections and malaria persist in these communities. Inadequate sanitation instigates flare-ups of cholera and typhoid in the villages. It is important to always view the entire health situation in Rarieda through the prism of HIV, incidence of which in this sub-County is triple the national average. The impact of HIV on the health of community members cannot be overstated.