WASHing to a Healthier Way of Life

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Rukundo International (RI) is passionate about transforming communities.

While working in rural Uganda over the last five years, RI staff have observed an alarming number of unsanitary and unsafe conditions within the homes and communities we serve. In many cases, community members simply don’t have the knowledge about simple and effective ways to improve their health.

Earlier this year, we conducted a WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) training for community members to address the sanitary challenges commonly found within the Kyanamira community, where our school is located. The training was led by Dr. Besingensi Alfred who is the District Health Educator for Kabale District. We had a great turnout, with approximately 130 of our neighbors attending.

Approximately 70 diseases commonly treated in the local clinics and the hospitals are directly related to the lack of proper sanitation practices. The doctors suggested the possibility of a 70% reduction in diseases and illnesses simply by using appropriate sanitation practices.

The facilitator informed the community attendants about the importance of having a functional toilet, along with a clean kitchen and utensils. The health benefits of a home garden were also explained, as was the connection between diseases caused by farm animals living in close proximity to humans. The community was additionally educated about consuming only water which was previously boiled to prevent water-borne diseases.

The facilitators discussed the high incidence of tuberculosis in Kyanamira and explained that the lack of awareness of hygiene practices is the cause of several health issues in the community including dysentery, cholera, typhoid, and jiggers. Community members were informed of how observing proper hygiene and sanitation can help eradicate these diseases completely.

WASH TrainingAttendees promised their commitment to following the preventive measures and hygiene practices reviewed. The staff from RI will follow up on these promises during subsequent home visits. Rukundo International has high hopes of improving the quality of life through programs and activities like these, which provide the right resources to the community from reliable sources. The promised follow-up by Rukundo staff will be a good motivator for the community to keep up with their healthy hygiene practices.

Another great way to spread awareness and information throughout the community is by teaching school-aged children health information through song, dance, and skits. The children then take this information that they have learned back to their homes and surrounding villages.

In early October, a small team of individuals from the U.S. will be traveling to visit our programs in Uganda. They will focus on WASH training in three rural primary (elementary) schools, reaching over 630 children. The activity-based curriculum will bring fun and innovative ways to teach children how and when they should wash their hands, about drinking and storing safe water, and other practices for healthy, productive lives.

In addition, the team will be hosting a medical clinic, complete with a meal, so that we can continue to show love to, educate, and build relationships with the Kyanamira community. Many community members have never had access to proper medical care, so this will be a huge blessing. We are expecting over 400 community members to attend.

The team needs a few supplies to help with the above WASH activities. If you would like to help us continue to change (and save) lives in partnership with the communities we serve, visit the following websites to donate. Thank you!

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f044da9a922aaf85-supplies

or

www.RukundoInternational.org

 

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