For people in developing countries, getting sick—or being chronically ill, as is often the case—can plunge a family deeper into poverty. This in turn makes them sicker and the vicious cycle continues.
So much illness in developing countries is preventable and easy to treat. But often communities don’t have access to the doctors, medication and knowledge necessary to overcome or even prevent illness.
Families who have access to health care can run farms, keep their families fed and keep their children in school. They can pull themselves out of the grip of chronic illness, and eventually out of poverty.
This is why Health is an integral part of our five-pillar model.
WE Charity works with community partners in seven developing countries helping improve access to health clinics, bringing programs like vaccinations to schools, facilitating the training of healthcare professionals, and teaching the community about disease prevention and healthy habits like hygiene and nutrition.
We strive to meet the World Health Organization’s vision of health promotion in the communities in which we work. Our health care programs differ in each country in part because each country’s and community’s needs are different. We also align our health care practices with each government’s national priorities, and in most cases partner with the government to administer health care to the communities.
Each of the pillars in our WE Villages program work holistically and contribute directly to community health:
WE Charity’s focus is on health training and education. Our projects in partner communities include:
Primary Care, which includes routine check-ups, treatment for chronic illnesses such as diabetes and arthritis, pre- and post-natal care, nutrition support and vaccinations. We also provide students with vital deworming treatments to combat nutritional impairment and support academic success.
Secondary Care, such as dermatological care, dental care, eye care and medical imaging.
Health education, which teaches the community to recognize, understand and prevent common illnesses, seek medical attention, and take preventative action to improve health. That latter includes teaching good hygiene, installing household chimneys to reduce deadly smoke inhalation from wood stoves, and planting gardens to combat malnutrition.
Training of community health workers to ensure that knowledge is accessible within communities and will be passed to students and children.
Interventions to combat malnutrition including targeted training programs around the importance of nutrition, personalized guidance around diet (especially for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers), and support for agriculture and food security projects to ensure stable food sources.
Shipping and provision of basic medical supplies to equip communities with resources to bolster health and wellbeing.
Mobile health clinics to provide direct health care services to students and community members.
Educating and connecting community members with available government health services and benefits, which may include nutritional supplements, pre- and post-natal care, and vaccinations, among other things.
Pre- and post-natal education and care for women to reduce the risk of birth complications and support the health and development of young children.
WE Charity has provided health care to over 48,000 people through services at Baraka and Kishon Clinics. The maternity wing at Baraka Health Clinic in Kenya has provided more than 3,000 mothers with pre- and post-natal care, including ultrasound and diagnostic services, and has helped deliver over 300 babies.
Maternal and child mortality devastates households and communities as a whole, negatively affecting economic growth, livelihood productivity, health outcomes, and opportunities for education. The services provided by Baraka’s maternity wing directly combat the incidence of maternal and child mortality by providing preventative care, and equipping mothers with both the necessary health services and the knowledge to raise healthy children.
At age four, Sohan Katara is already a precocious young boy, all wide eyes and broad grin. But before WE Charity rebuilt the local anginwadi—part daycare, part health resource center—he and his friends were at risk of becoming child laborers.
There was nothing to keep them occupied in their home village in Berna, in Rajasthan province’s Udaipur district.
The village’s anginwadi, normally an integral hub for rural Indian life, was dilapidated and dangerous.
While their parents tended to fields, older siblings skipped school to look after younger ones, and they often were left without proper meals.
Sohan suffered from malnutrition, cold and a cough. He was weak, underweight and unable to receive consistent treatment, with the closest hospital a six kilometer walk away. His parents are subsistence farmers, so he was at risk of becoming a laborer.
With the support of WE Charity, Berna’s anginwadi has reopened. Sohan and his younger brother attend WE Charity’s pre-school program, which, apart from covering numbers and letters, includes proper hand-washing and hygiene.
Sohan and his friends recite colors, numbers and letters, and eat a hot lunch including vegetables from the kitchen garden. They also receive food supplements, vitamins and vaccinations. Sohan’s mother is happy and proud as she explains how WE Charity has changed her life.