An update from Wiser

Posted by Jermaine

Posted 24 March 2021

Hey, villagers.

Unfortunately, we haven't been able to produce more regular updates during this project's lifecycle, but the project has concluded successfully.

232 of WISER's students have re-enrolled in school out of a capacity of 240, and we are pleased to report that no one - including all teaching staff, support staff, and students - has had to receive isolation or care for COVID-19 symptoms.

While testing is not widely available, we have been monitoring health with daily temperature checks and other common symptoms, including cough and shortness of breath.

Fifty-eight students have received medical care. Our staff reports this has been primarily for malaria they likely contracted while at home without encouragement and monitoring to adhere to bed net usage.

Three students are pregnant, which is an incredibly low figure compared to the rest of the region, where some schools are reporting upwards of 70% pregnancy rates in their students.

WISER does not screen students for pregnancy when they return from breaks, primarily to reinforce that students will not lose their WISER space due to pregnancy. Pregnancy screenings are only provided to ensure proper monitoring and care are delivered to students.

For this reason, WISER provides screening for teen pregnancy after exams at the end of each term to preserve the girls' mental and emotional health as they study.

One student is far enough along to be receiving antenatal care through WISER. All students will be screened for pregnancy on March 17 - after the end-of-term exams and a few days before returning home for break.

Of course, all of this is in addition to providing bed nets, three nutritious meals daily, robust psychosocial support, clean water, menstrual hygiene supplies, and bath facilities.

Included is an image and description/transcript of a letter one student sent to Principal Dorcas to thank her for coordinating and paying for her care on WISER's behalf.

Dear Madam Dorcas: I would like to express my sincere gratitude for having made this happen. You made me feel like I am endeared and cared for. Thanks for having taken me to St. Joseph's Ombo Mission Hospital where I was given medication. At Ombo I was massaged, given medicine, and advised on how to administer them. Thanks for paying the hospital bill and extending much towards my health. I pray to God that he may keep you alive so that the love you have shown to me may be extended to some students who may be needy as I was. May God shower you with His blessings abundantly. Thanks again for pieces of advice you have always offered towards my academics.

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