Thursday, August 1, 2013

[Kazigo A] Hello, can we see your toilet?

Osiibye Otya to all of our friends and family keeping tabs on us all in Kazigo A!  We all feel incredibly busy, but are learning a lot in our short time here.  We find ourselves often wishing for more time to complete everything we have planned. 

As the follow-up team, we have spent most of our time checking up on UVP’s projects implemented last year.  What this means for us is a LOT of house-to-house surveys and mini-sensitizations based on individual need.  Picture this: we come to your house, say hello, and then ask to see your toilet.  Lucky for us, the villagers here are much more welcoming than anyone back in the States! This work requires many long hours walking in the sun, but we find ourselves spending time learning from and building relationships with the Village Health Teams in our four villages.

Along with the sanitation and hygiene follow-up surveys, we have been working on a hand-washing project at the local primary school.  This project has been a pretty cool experience for our team; its objective is to stop the spread of disease by placing children and youth at the forefront of behavioral change.  We were able to hold educational sessions with both the teachers and kids, spend time to help build tippy-tap hand-washing stations by the latrines, and observe their use.  Our team, along with Kazigo B, also started painting a mural on the wall of the school.  Our challenge now is to find an innovative way to create a sustainable supply of soap for the school, as well as ensuring that the hand-washing message actually gets through to the students and that the tippy taps are well maintained. This is something we are still struggling with, and hope to find the best option for Toka Primary School.

Last week, our team held its first sensitization on Family Planning in the village.  We love Kazigo A, and feel pretty lucky to have been given a village that is so interested in Family Planning.  Both the men and women seem well educated on the programs and methods. We held two different sensitizations- one for the women and another for the men. Although it would have been ideal to combine them, this is what made sense culturally and logistically in our village. Most of the women in attendance received the appropriate method after getting a checkup from the nurse who came out to help us. It was great to see so many women who have been attending the quarterly Family Planning sensitizations return for more methods. Holding a sensitization for the men was also a big success, since one of UVP’s goals is to have men play a larger role in Family Planning through gaining a deeper understanding of its importance and the methods.

In the coming weeks, we will be trying to complete as many follow-up surveys as possible, along with retraining our VHTs and holding sensitizations in the villages on the different programs. Another great success has been having such wonderful VHTs to work with, who are so enthusiastic to gain more skills and have made our work in the villages possible. Sending lots of love from Kazigo A and hope that you stay tuned for our next post!

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