Many girls in Uganda lack access to sanitary pads and basic reproductive health information. As they reach puberty, they can miss up to six weeks of school a year due to menstruation. Getting behind and dropping out of school limits their socio-economic possibilities and continues the cycle of poverty; leaving them susceptible to diseases – especially HIV, unplanned teenage pregnancies, and forced early marriage.
KFNL provides vital health education, knickers (underwear) and MakaPads through school partnerships in Uganda. We also provide funds for separate latrines and handwash stations if needed by our schools. These practical projects make it possible for girls to safely stay in school and gain the knowledge necessary for a healthier future.
Challenging facts that motivate our projects:
- Eighty-five percent (85%) of Ugandans live in rural poverty — earning an average of $300 a year, or 82 cents a day.
- More than 50% of the population is under 15 years old.
- Fewer than 38% of girls entering primary school will complete their primary education. Educating girls is widely regarded as one of the best ways to improve the economy and health of developing countries. However, girls in Uganda consistently fare less well academically than boys. Academic performance correlates closely with school attendance, and drop out rates are high for rural Ugandan girls for reasons often linked to their reproductive biology.
- Uganda has among the highest teen pregnancy rates in sub-Saharan Africa.
- HIV infection rates are 9 times higher in girls than boys the same age.
- Uganda has one of the highest maternal death rates in the world, 25% of which are from unsafe abortions.
- Studies have shown that each additional year of education for girls reduces their risk of HIV infection by 7% and delays the age of first pregnancy by a year.
- There are an estimated 5,500 AIDS deaths per day in Africa. (World Health Organization).
- In Uganda, around 1.2 million adults (15+ years), (or 6.5% of the adult population), live with HIV/AIDS. (UNAIDS)
- About 80% of illnesses in developing countries are linked to poor water and sanitation conditions. In Uganda, 54% of households travel 30 minutes or more to fetch their drinking water, 17% in urban areas and 62% in rural areas. (Uganda Demographic and Health Survey)
- According to WHO, Uganda’s healthcare system is one of the worst in the world, ranking 186th out of 191 nations. In Uganda, about 51% of people don’t have any contact with public healthcare facilities.
- With only 38% of healthcare posts filled in Uganda, the country suffers a chronic shortage of trained health workers. Some 70% of Ugandan doctors and 40% of nurses and midwives are based in urban areas, serving only 12% of the Ugandan population.