YAWE Foundation Uganda, in line with its vision of “an enlightened society through sustainable socio-economic development and good health for all,” continues to make significant strides in promoting community health awareness, especially regarding primary health concerns such as STDs and HIV/AIDS. One of its recent initiatives in August 2023 was a school/institution-based health outreach program at Mountains of the Moon University (MMU), aimed at sensitizing youths and fostering health-seeking behavior among them.
Medical Outreach at Mountains of the Moon University
Limited access to health services, particularly in sexual reproductive health, STDs, STIs, and preventive healthcare, prompted YAWE Foundation to conduct a medical outreach at MMU, the only public university in the Rwenzori region. During this outreach, a range of essential services were provided to the students:
- Weight, Height, and BMI Calculation: 38 students accessed these services, with most falling within a normal BMI range (18.5kg/m² to 25kg/m²). Those with concerns about overweight or obesity received advice on safe weight management strategies.
- Blood Pressure Measurement: 32 students underwent blood pressure checks, and 3 were found to have high blood pressure. They were counseled on stress management, risk factors, and lifestyle modifications, along with prescribed medications.
- Blood Glucose Testing: 15 students were tested, and all had normal glucose levels.
- STI Screening: 13 students were tested for syphilis, with all results being non-reactive.
- Health Education: Despite limited time, all students received valuable health education. Topics included STDs, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), HIV/AIDS, and nutrition, emphasizing preventive measures and control strategies.
- HIV Testing Services (HTS): 26 students were eligible for HIV testing, and all tested negative. Additionally, 9 Sure Check HIV self-testing kits were distributed, with 2 OraQuick kits, albeit limited by supply.
- Condom Distribution: A commendable 800 condoms were distributed during the outreach, with an additional 3200 provided to the university clinic.
- Family Planning: Although fewer students sought family planning services, 3 received Sayana Press injections, while one opted for pills.
- Deworming and Drug Distribution: 41 deworming tablets (mebendazole) were distributed, along with a substantial quantity of paracetamol (1000 tablets) for continuous management at the school clinic.
The outreach began with MMU’s request for services on August 10, 2023. YAWE Foundation swiftly organized the necessary tools and resources. On the day of the outreach, the medical team arrived at the site promptly, setting up for a day of health promotion.
During the event, MMU’s school nurse recognized YAWE Foundation’s consistent support in improving the health of MMU students. Hon. Kansiime Marjorie and Katungi Kenneth from YAWE Foundation addressed the students, stressing the importance of mental health, avoiding risky behaviors, and maintaining overall well-being. They linked these principles with the services being offered and encouraged students to take advantage of the free services provided.
In summary, YAWE Foundation’s medical outreach at Mountains of the Moon University in August 2023 successfully delivered vital health services, education, and counseling to the student body. With a focus on promoting youth health and raising awareness about HIV and community issues, YAWE Foundation continues to make a positive impact in the Rwenzori region, striving for a healthier and more enlightened society.