In June, we were fortunate enough to have Dr Jenny Myo and Dr Frances Yarlett volunteer for UWS. Providing a basic health education is hugely important in UWS schools: put simply, healthy children are more likely to attend, learn and enjoy school.
Jenny and Fran review their visit to Katcham Village:
“Arriving at Katcham, the first thing that strikes you is the abundance of children. The number is overwhelming, even more so considering that many women have lost at least one child. On closer inspection, the children are constantly coughing and sneezing, have rotting teeth and various skin conditions – they aren’t healthy. Vaccinations for each child are unpredictable and many of them show clinical signs of TB.”
“During our time in Katcham we found a 3 day old baby girl half dead from dehydration. The mother hadn’t breastfed immediately, the baby could not suckle and there are no bottles in the village. Thankfully, we had the UWS 4×4 to drive the baby to hospital and save its life, but there may be more in the future when we are not there. In the UK this does not happen, as health professionals check on newborns and their mothers and are taught about the signs of illness. In 2013, mothers should not risk losing their child through something as simple as dehydration.”
“The warmth and friendliness of the Katcham people cannot mask their lack of basic health and hygiene. These people need time and investment to pass on knowledge that we take so much for granted. Health education is the key.”
This is why we do what we do.
Like all our volunteers, Jenny and Fran kindly give their time for free, which means that every donation to UWS goes directly to supporting these communities and improving the lives of young people. UWS keeps operational costs to an absolute minimum. As an independent charity, 100% of our work is funded by our supporters.
We need donations to keep doing what we do. Your support makes UWS happen. Find out how you can donate.
You can follow UWS Health on their blog at http://uwshealth.wordpress.com/
You can see more images from Katcham Village in our Flickr Gallery