HEALTH AND HEALTH EDUCATION
HEALTH AND EDUCATION
Children can only benefit from education at school if they have a reasonable level of health. They and their parents/guardians/carers also need to understand how to maintain a good environment and a sense of wellbeing and self esteem. This includes education about personal hygiene, care of the body, and the provision of healthy food. As the children reach maturity, education on personal development needs to be provided for both girls and boys.
HEALTH EDUCATION FOR GIRLS
In 2017 we made enquiries as to how the girls reaching maturity could access some form of counselling or health education. We contacted a professional Tanzanian school speaker who offered to provide a confidential two-hour session with the older girls from SAO. The six girls rated it a great success. This was the start to developing a regular program of health education. In 2020 this program has been suspended due to Covid-19.
In the early years there was no optometrist in Arusha. We consulted an optometrist in Australia who gave us some eye charts. She demonstrated a rudimentary way we could use them to find out if some of the children were having problems with reading because of poor eyesight. We brought some glasses with us that were 1.0 and 2.0 dioptre strength.
We gave the school-aged children a basic eye test. We found that four of the children could not read the smallest text and one boy could not read the last 3 lines on the chart. Here he is with his new glasses. Since 2018 there has been an optometrist in Arusha and we have used their services. Once prescribed glasses are made on site within half an hour.
MEDICAL AND DENTAL ASSISTANCE
The staff at SAO are responsible for ongoing health support and emergencies. SAO receives regular visits from a medical NGO organisation which prescribes a range of remedies for coughs and colds and other minor ailments. Staff accompany any child who needs medical attention to the local clinic or hospital.
Some of the children have had particular medical or dental issues that occurred while we were visiting Arusha. In 2016 we assisted a boy who had his front teeth damaged in a sporting accident. We took him to the dental hospital in Arusha where the dentist treated him and we paid the bills. In 2017 we helped a girl receive treatment for a cyst that had developed on the side of her head. We paid for surgery to have it removed. In 2019 and 2020 we provided financial assistance for the cancer treatment of one of the teenage boys.
We endeavour to provide financial assistance for medical emergencies involving children from the SAO when requested.