Our teams visit each of our partner schools at least once per term. During these visits, our teams provide a variety of services;
- Health education
- Treatment services
- Health clubs
- Vision Project
- Menstrual Hygiene Management
Education of students on health and hygiene issues enables them to develop healthy behavior. Empowered children not only grow into healthy adults but also are able to influence those around them, thereby enhancing the health status of their communities
We have age-appropriate health topics for lower primary, upper primary, and secondary schools students. Lower primary pupils are educated on such topics as dental hygiene, nutrition, water, and road safety while upper primary and secondary school students learn Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights (SRHR) such as Adolescence, Reproduction, relationships, sexually transmitted diseases, drugs & substance abuse, HIV/AIDS
Our officers also hold one-on-one counseling sessions with students who come forward to seek further help with such issues as drugs and substance abuse and addiction helping improve mental health among students.
Lack of access to quality treatment services is a major problem among the students in our partner schools as most of them come from poor backgrounds. Most have no health covers and so when they get sick, they end up delaying going to health facilities with the hope that it will resolve on its own, others resort to self medication. The result is drug resistance, complications from otherwise simple infections that could have easily been treated on time and missing class time. Our treatment services in schools aim to bridge this gap through screening of common illnesses, providing diagnosis and treatment. Services provided by our our clinical teams include:
- Free treatment services
- Follow-ups of those treated to ensure adherence to the treatment plan.
- Referral of complex cases
These provide a platform for sustainable health education in schools. We leverage on the important role of a teacher as an educator, role model to students, and an agent of change. We have trained 240 teachers as teacher health champions to be patrons of their health clubs. The teachers receive annual refresher training. We have also trained two students per school as school-based youth peer providers (SYPP). The SYPPs are in charge of their health clubs; making sure that health clubs meet at least once a week, they discuss health topics with the guidance of their teacher health champion following the health curriculum provided by Village HopeCore and documenting these meetings in the logbook provided. The SYPPs act as peer educators. They are also trained in basic counseling skills, and so act as peer counselors to fellow students.
A child needs many abilities to perform in school; good vision is a key contributory factor. Reading, writing, and using computers are among the visual tasks students perform daily. Children’s eyes are constantly in use in the classroom and at the playing ground, when their vision is not functioning properly, their education and participation in sports can be hampered.
Over 75% of visual impairment results from preventable causes. According to the Kenya ministry of health report of October 2019, of the 7.5million Kenyans who need eye health services, only 21.3% are able to access eye health from both public and private facilities. Furthermore, interventions targeting child eye health associated with schooling and development have been lacking. Together with Kathy Sangster, an individual donor, we have embarked on mass screening of all students in partner schools for eye problems. Identified cases are booked for our monthly eye clinics at our Chogoria based clinic where we have acquired the services of a part-time ophthalmologist and optometrist.
Our clinicians have undergone vision health training and are therefore able to manage minor cases and book complex cases for the monthly ophthalmologist eye clinics. The teams also offer eye health education, addressing the importance of nutrition and hygiene in the prevention of eye problems. Additionally, we have noted the misuse of eye drops especially steroids which only serve to compound the problem and result in complications such as glaucoma and blindness
We have also trained the teacher health champions on vision acuity screening and we plan to provide a Snellen chart to every school to enable the teachers to screen every student coming into the school after our mass screening campaign.
Menstrual Hygiene Management
Menstruation is a normal biological function and a key sign of reproductive health. Yet it remains a taboo topic in many African cultures leading to girls and women lacking knowledge and information on menstrual management hence go through this process in shame and embarrassment
More than 65% of girls and women in Kenya are unable to afford sanitary pads with studies showing that 2 out of 3 sanitary pad users in rural Kenya obtain them from sexual partners putting young girls at risk of sexually transmitted infections, early and unplanned pregnancies leading to school dropout and early marriages
28% of students do not attend school during their period due to unavailability of hygienic absorbent material with 1 out of 10 girls missing school during menstruation in sub-Saharan Africa. These girls end up missing 3-4 school days every month translating to a whole month of missed class time every year
Our program aims to address this gap through the provision of annual sanitary kits to 2500 needy school girls every year. This has enabled them to favorably compete with their male peers in class. Furthermore, our teams offer menstrual hygiene management education to girls to empower them to grow up as confident beings with the proper understanding of their bodies
Our WASH team is advocating for the inclusion of a private changing place for girls in school sanitation facilities.
- 45000 students reached every term for education, treatment and deworming services
- 169 School Based Youth Peer Providers trained and certified
- 240 Teacher Health Champions trained and certified
- 240 Teacher Health Champions receive refresher training every year
- 167 Teacher Health Champions trained on Visual Acuity Screening
- Free monthly eye clinics held; over 397 students in 5 partner schools screened, 506 students treated 23 Given free eye glasses
- 2500 girls reached every year with annual sanitary kits