Health and Wellbeing
Few of our pupils have access to adequate medical or dental care and it is not possible to provide for all of 1750 pupils. iThemba’s focus has to be on providing basic and emergency care. Our main aim is to reduce the number of pupils suffering from malnutrition. Our latest check-up in September 2016 identified over 300 pupils with some degree of malnutrition. Next medical check up will be November 2017.
We have conducted these checks for three years. Finding that so many of our students were malnourished was the impetus to start the school vegetable garden.
We continue to address issues like dental hygiene through education and awareness raising with pupils and their caregivers.
Baraa Primary School welcomes anybody with a medical background to Volunteer at our school and to provide us with expert knowledge.
Hygiene and Clean Toilets
A lot of infections and diseases in Africa are easily prevented with decent hygiene and overall cleanliness. When building our new latrines, we have also build sinks with push taps so the pupils can wash their hands after every toilet visit. In order to know how to prevent diseases, information and teaching are essential for every child in the world, also for the pupils of Baraa Primary School. Our local partner Onsea House takes care of the cleaning bill of all latrines.
Huge improvements have been made at the school to ensure a reliable water supply. In 2015 Wade Rain sponsored rainwater harvesting and built the school a 200,000 litre underground storage tank. This ensured the school had water throughout the dry season – for the first time ever. In addition we now supply our neighbouring secondary school and through a community tap the local village has access to water all year round. In 2016, in partnership with Global Partnership Sustainability the school will supply filtered safe drinking water to all the students and staff.
Twice a year we deworm all the pupils of Baraa Primary School to get rid of internal parasites. Children get infected by worms if they eat undercooked meat or dairy products, raw salads or eggs, or if they get in contact with infected animals such as cats. Unicef pleads for deworming since worm infestations could impact a child’s ability to learn. Besides that, the growth rate and weight gain among children who are regularly dewormed is higher compared to those who are not. This deworming action is fully sponsored by iThemba.
First aid & Dispensary Costs
Like in every school, accidents happen. In 2015 two teachers were trained as first-aiders. iThemba volunteers also provide first aid assistance and iThemba provides all necessary first aid supplies. Designated teachers and volunteers have been thought how to take care of these small medical issues. However, first aid involves information and skills which have the be learned by our teachers and volunteers. Therefore iThemba organizes information sessions to teach our staff.
A more sever medical problem will be addressed at the dispensary around the corner. Cuts are sometimes to deep and need to be stitched followed by a tetanus injections or other medication. All costs for this service are paid by iThemba.