Our charity in health projects

Toto Africa continues to extend its arm of charity to the people of Ngora and Uganda with the help of our generous well-wishers, who have donated both physical and nonphysical resources allowing us execute a number of activities; Hydrocephalus Operation Sponsorship, Mental Health Support, Spiritual support and Social cooperate Responsibilities.  

1. Pads

To contribute to gender equality in the Uganda school system it is important that Menstrual Hygiene Management is provided for the girls as research and Toto Africa’s experience has shown that girls are missing on average 2-3 days of school per month (15-20% of a school month)!

Toto Africa supports primary schools (especially P6 and P7) in Ngora District with gaining access to sanitary pads for the girl child so no more school has to be missed! To be able to do so, TotoAfrica teamed up with AfriPad Uganda to put together basic sets of pads that can help student for at least one year so that our girl child doesn’t have to miss any more school or exams!

Toto Africa prefers to focus on reusable pads, due to many reasons:

  1. Cost effective – the Afripad for example can be used at least 12 months and as an example one Afripads Standard 4-pack is three times more affordable than a year’s supply of disposable pads.
  2. Hygiene – the Toto Africa target group actually is not using disposable pads currently as they can’t afford it. Often other unhygienic materials are used, anything that is available and absorbs liquid.
  3. Environment – by introducing reusable pads instead of disposable pads to girls the pressure on the environment is reduced significantly especially as the waste management infrastructure in Uganda is still underdeveloped.

Girls in Uganda hold reusable menstrual pads, which they received after a reproductive health presentation at school.

To ensure Toto Africa is not only distributing pads but is also able to support with appropriate information and raises awareness around menstruation, the whole team and additional volunteers have been trained by the AfriPads team. Training topics were to ensure full product knowledge, to be able to use the pads and explain how to use the pads, the do’s and don’t of the pads and just during the red days and last but definitely not least how to ensure a hygenic and happy menstrual period (dealing with menstrual pain, staying clean and keeping the pads clean). Other topics were more centered around understanding the cycle, how to approach girls and how to openly speak about menstruation without shame. At Toto Africa we feel it is important to show the students that it is normal to talk about menstruation for both boys and girls.

We noticed during our campaigns that the students are shy to talk about periods, underwear, blood flows and menstruation pains and put in efforts to make it fun, to normalize it and to make it educational at the same time.

As half of the population gets its period, and the other half of the population in Uganda is likely to want to have children one day and or is caring or will care for somebody who has their period, we should normalize talking about menstruation and make sure it is seen as normal as eating and drinking, or going to the toilet for a short call.

 

2. Hydrocephalus

Toto Africa has established a partnership with the CURE Children’s Hospital of Uganda (based in Mbale). Through the charity arm of Toto Africa, we are supporting children ideally from the target communities with hydrocephalus, a physical disability that -if left untreated- results in pain, brain damage, severe developmental delay, blindness, and ultimately death. Without treatment children in Uganda suffering from hydrocephalus have little to no hope for a productive or pain-less future. Furthermore the caretakers role for children with disabilities is often fully with the women (mothers) making it hard for them to create opportunities for themselves and their family, frequently leaving them in impoverished situations.

Charity in this field is needed as the Government of Uganda has very limited resources to address the challenges being faced by Children with Disabilities and their families. For example the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development was only able to target to reach 600 children per year between 2015 and 2020, even though they recognizing the need for rehabilitation in the Social Development Sector Plan 2015/16–2019/20 (SDSP). Furthermore the Ministry was only able to allocate UGX 1,500,000 (approx. US$400) per annuum towards its program -during this same period- to rehabilitate children with disabilities, equaling UGX 2,500 (approx. US$0.70) per child per year.

Furthermore most families in the target region have insufficient funds themselves to cover the costs involved with addressing hydrocephalus. Without treatment, hydrocephalus is fatal, but through surgery this can be prevented. Surgery will ensure the fluids can be drained and reduced. The costs of such a surgery at the CURE facility is about 6.200.000 UGX (1,6600 USD), and Toto Africa provides logistical costs for each of their patients and parent plus 50% of the operational costs which totals to 3,100,000 UGX (just above 800 USD) for the operation (CURE contributes the other 50%, a total of 800 USD per operation). On average Toto Africa aims to support at least 3 children per year.

Hydrocephalus is a condition in which there is too much fluid inside the child’s skull and, with this fluid not being able to go anywhere, the child’s head will swell up. Do you want to know more about hydrocephalus? Visit this blog of the CURE website for a full explanation on the condition and the treatment.