Better Health Means Better Grades

A variety of reasons can keep children from attending school in developing nations. Wubshet and Habiba, GHNI National Leaders in Kenya, share how Ola Nagele villagers got their kids back in school and back on the top of their classes.

Ola Nagele Village, Kenya

“Ola Nagele is a community known for its rapid transformation, which included so many children going to the neighbouring school in search of a bright better future.

“In the course of pursuing this, we (the GHNI team in Kenya) noticed that many village children were not attending their school regularly due to illnesses that re-occurred even after essential treatment. Their eyes and respiratory system were affected the most and our greatest fear was that they might have developed resistance to the drugs that they took for long without proper response.

“After we went house to house, accompanied by the community health workers, to verify the cause of the illness that became common and similar to all. We noted that as the kids worked hard for their studies, they were using tin lamp that used diesel fuel. The lamps were emitting too much heavy smoke and eventually endangering their health.

“So we immediately arranged for a community meeting and taught the parents and the secondary school students that the use of the tin lamp did them more harm than good. The solution we came and discussed with them was to encourage the students not to do their studies in school until evening and, instead, going earlier to school than before so that they create enough time for their studies using the natural light and hence lowering the exposure to such pollutants that are so deadly unto our health. This action was taken into consideration, and afterwards a great change was witnessed to both academic performance as well as health.

“Amina is one of the pupils who was a victim of the problem. Her mother used to spend a lot of money for her treatment, but now she is enjoying good health AND better grades!”