We were also able to provide the funds to finish Namabo Primary School. Ugandan elections are running during this time so all progress has been stopped but we will be sending the pictures of the final school, including a plaque, with the names of all the brick donators once the elections are complete. Children in Uganda have to pay to take their education beyond Primary school and many can’t afford to do so. So last time I came I brought along with me Morris and Miriam who are now sponsored to attend high school next year along with 5 other children whom we have supported. None of these children would have been able to go to school this year without the help of some wonderful people who sponsored them. We are hoping that they will continue studying and pursue a future worthy of them.
I am excited to continue working with CECA and receive the same support from you this year as well. I hope to host another soccer camp this June but it takes a lot of resources to do so. So any help you can give would be much appreciated. Your teachers are handing out flyers now illustrating how you can help our efforts. You can “buy a bag” for 10 dollars which will provide one child who attends our camp with a gift bag which includes a toothbrush, a shirt, and a health manual. In addition we are doing our annual clothing drive so if you are doing your spring cleaning or have old clothes, stuffed animals, or other fabrics that you no longer need we will be collecting until March 11. You can also meet me in the Quad after school to pre-order t-shirts and sweatshirts at 15 and 20 dollars a piece. You can also come meet me in the quad with your parents after school to say hi. Now your teachers will be handing out papers, which I am hoping you will write a heart felt letter to a colleague in Uganda. Please write your gender and grade ex. first grade girl/boy and address the letter as Dear Friend. Talk about your life and what you like and be sure to ask them about theirs. You will receive a letter back in a few weeks. To 7th and 8th graders, we are offering CJSF hours to those interested. Some ideas for CJSF hours are standing out in front of a local grocery store, organizing an event at school, or selling RUFC gear. It’s a fun and easy was to get hours while supporting a good cause. Don’t forget to meet me out in the Quad after school to take a picture to post to social media!
During the #RUFC15 Summer Camp, USC students Kristin Dessie and Asia Dean undertook an evaluation of the public health curriculum developed and delivered by USC MPH students and partners from Makerere University.
Questionnaires were administered to a group of students before and after participating in health education lessons. The two questionnaires served a dual purpose: 1) Since there is a lack of health data among youth in Mpigi, the questionnaires served as a needs assessment to determine baseline health knowledge and health beliefs. 2) The post education questionnaire served as an evaluation of the effectiveness and appropriateness of the curriculum as we can use results to assess changes in health knowledge.
Data was collected via electronic questionnaires administered by collaborating students from Makerere University. Makerere students translated questions when necessary. Responses from 27 students before and 25 students after health education classes were successfully collected. Ethics approval was obtained for the administration of these questionnaires.
Key recommendations resulting from the study included:
Key findings are described below.
The majority of respondents correctly identified the modes of HIV/AIDs transmission, sexual contact, mother-to-fetus, and blood transmission, both pre and post health education lessons. Improvements were made in identifying incorrect modes of transmission such as hugging, kissing, and sharing toilets or food after health education lessons. This is helpful in reducing the stigma of HIV within a community, and shows a better understanding from the students in how to successfully protect themselves from the disease.
When asked if students believed HIV was a prevalent health issue in Mpigi a majority of students responded “I don’t know.” This indicates a need for more information being communicated to students to better understand potential risk.
The students indicated a need for more dialogue about this issue. 84% of respondents believed that more open discussion would reduce stigma around HIV/AIDS and 96% of respondents believed discussion around avoiding peer pressure and risky behavior in school was very important.
Informal discussions with students were helpful in assessing gaps in health knowledge as well. Students wanted to know more about sexual health, including the prevention of HIV, sexually transmitted diseases, and pregnancy. Students had expressed several misconceptions surrounding condoms, including a belief that the use of condoms actually causes disease, rather than helping to prevent the spread of disease.
Tobacco & Alcohol
The majority of respondents believed that both tobacco and alcohol use was common in Mpigi. Specifically, students believed males 18 and older were the most common users of tobacco and alcohol. When asked if Mpigi residents understood the health risks associated with tobacco and excessive alcohol use respondents indicated almost equal parts yes and no. When asked what commonly occurs after excessive alcohol consumption in Mpigi students identified interpersonal violence as the most common outcome, followed by accident or injury and drunk driving.
The majority of students understood tobacco smoke negatively impacts both the smoker and those exposed to second hand smoke. Additionally, the majority of students indicated secondhand smoke exposure is common in Mpigi.
The majority of students correctly defined mental illness as a “disturbance in brain function” both pre and post health education classes. Misconceptions were almost eliminated entirely after classes with only one student describing mental illness as “a curse.”
92% of students understood wood burning cookstoves pose a risk to health, and the majority were able to identify common health outcomes from exposure. 84% indicated Mpigi residents would be open to using cleaner stoves if they were available.
Read Kristin Dessie's complete report here.
Ray Wipfli, RUFC founder, shares his thoughts.