YAWE Foundation Uganda is dedicated to creating an enlightened society through sustainable socio-economic development and good health for all. As part of their core pillars, they focus on rising awareness about primary health concerns, including sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV/AIDS. Their vision encompasses strengthening communities and promoting partnerships by extending primary healthcare services to the people. In line with their objectives, YAWE Foundation organized a remarkable school health outreach at Mpanga Senior Secondary School in Fort Portal City. This outreach aimed to sensitize and educate students about crucial health concerns, empower them to make informed decisions, and promote overall well-being.
Activity Description: The school health outreach began with a meeting between YAWE Foundation and school authorities, agreeing on the outreach date, which was set for July 12th, 2023. The necessary tools and resources were prepared in advance to ensure a smooth execution of the outreach. On the day of the outreach, the medical team members gathered at the premises, loaded the required equipment into the car, and set off for the outreach site.
Upon arrival, the team found a large group of senior one (S.1) students, estimated to be around 700, already gathered in the main hall for the health education session. The outreach commenced with a presentation by the public health dental officer, Mr. Necton, who enlightened the students about oral hygiene, its implications, management, and preventive strategies. This was followed by an infectious diseases health talk by Peace Corps volunteer Andre Buller, who discussed various infectious diseases and their prevention. Mental health therapist Marjorie Kansiime then provided guidance on good mental health practices, including stress management and career development. In-charge of medical services, Kenneth Katungi, delivered a comprehensive talk on sexual reproductive health, STDs, UTIs, and HIV/AIDS.
Simultaneously, other team members had already set up and were offering various services to the students. These services included HIV screening, counseling, and testing (HCT), blood pressure measuring, glucose testing, nutritional assessment, weight, height, and body mass index (BMI) measurements, STI screening and management, as well as oral hygiene education.
The health education sessions continued with senior three and advanced level students, following the same format and featuring the same facilitators as mentioned above. The topics covered a wide range of vital health issues, including sexually transmitted diseases and infections, HIV/AIDS and the ABCCD strategy, teenage pregnancies and their impact on careers, menstrual hygiene, cervical cancer, gender-based violence (GBV), mental well-being, good health and career development as a student, puberty changes and concerns, public health dentistry, and various public health concerns like malaria, tuberculosis (TB), and COVID-19.