Primary education begins at the age of six for the majority of Africans. Students spend six years in primary school and graduate with first school-leaving certificate. After primary education, if you are fortunate, you can proceed to three years of junior secondary school, then three years of senior secondary school and finally four years of university education. In the Ishiagu community, about fifty percent of students do not attain higher than six years of primary school. Most of these students study under very harsh and unusual circumstances. They have no textbooks and there are not enough sitting desks. Most of their classrooms have dilapidated roofs, so much so that when it rains the students are dismissed to go home for that day, and it rains quite often. Uplift Help International is committed to helping these children with required textbooks, providing reading desks, and giving scholarships to empower them to attain a higher level of education.
Health Conditions in Africa, especially in rural areas, are critical and deplorable. Most health problems emanate from poor living conditions and a severe shortage of pure water. As a result among the most common diseases are worm infestation, typhoid fever, cholera, and mosquito-borne malaria. Tuberculosis and most recently AIDS are also common.
The most common cause of death is undiagnosed hypertension. Both men and women, about 50% of the people present with hypertension have no source of help. The common complications are heart attack and stroke. The life expectancy is about 50 years of age. It is to this end that UHI Inc. has been directing its efforts.
Also of great concern is women's health care. The majority of women do not receive pre-natal care and deliver their babies at home in the care of untrained or poorly trained attendants. Many of the women remain in labor for days. As a result there is an unacceptably high rate of maternal and child deaths. Others suffer complications related to traumatic deliveries which include recto-vaginal fistulas, infections and foot-drop. Due to the fistula, many women are ostracized by the community.
Acute Water Shortage
The water supply in the village of Ishiagu is not only scarce but the water available is contaminated with chemical pollutants, worms and the stagnated water is a breeding place for mosquitoes that cause malaria. These conditions pose a health hazard and result in worm infestations, malaria and typhoid fever. The task of fetching water itself is a health hazard. All, including the young and old, trek more than a few miles through unfriendly and tedious terrain to reach the open streams and rivers. They carry heavy pots of water on their heads as they trek through winding, hilly and slippery paths. This results in falls, injuries and sometimes death.
UHI Inc. recognizes that clean, accessible water is not only essential to good health but also a matter of life and death. Securing a safe water supply is of great importance and we seek partners to help us in this effort.