HWHL Newsletter, 3rd Quarter 2021

We have witnessed many stories of God at work at Healthy Women, Healthy Liberia in the last quarter.  We’re honored to be able to share a few of them with you in this latest newsletter.

“I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light.”
Acts 26:17b-18a
Upper Left–Dr Douglass (plaid shirt) and Germenie Togba (in blue); Upper Right–our Lab Tech with Students.

In the second quarter, Healthy Women, Healthy Liberia reached an agreement with  L V Prasad Eye Institute Liberia to set up and operate an Eye Care Center within HWHL’s Waterfield Primary Healthcare Center.  The Eye Care Center is now operational providing services at affordable costs to all segments of the community who can afford to pay for the services as well as providing free eye care to all those who are in need and cannot afford to pay for the services.  In addition to eye tests, glasses are fitted and, glaucoma and other conditions are treated at Waterfield.  Surgeries (such as for cataracts) are referred to LVPEI’s facility at JFK hospital in Monrovia.  We’re thrilled to be able to offer this life-changing service to the people of Margibi County Liberia. 

Meet Eye Center staff member, Germenie Togba: “My name is Germenie A. Togbah. I started working with Healthy Women, Healthy Liberia on Feb 1, 2015. I began with this institution as a Community Health Worker. Currently I am working in the eye Department as an assistant to the eye doctor since December 2019. The vision center in Kakata  is a big blessing to the people of Kakata and Liberia at large. Most people in Kakata and other parts of Liberia never knew the importance of checking their eyes.  As a result of lacking such knowledge so many people have been affected by Cataracts, Glaucoma, Pterygium, Presbyopia, Myopia, etc. Through our outreaches in various  town’s, villages, and communities people are now more aware of using the facility to check their eyes than before when they were unaware.”

Last month Dr. Chris Hena was administering an ultrasound for an expectant mother in the Waterfield Clinic.  Dr. Chris saw one head . . . and then a second head . . . and then a third!  Although most Liberian births are in the home, the mother went to the hospital for the delivery where a baby girl was born . . . then a second baby girl . . . then a third . . . and, surprise, a fourth baby girl was born.  All the babies and their mother are healthy and doing well.  Praise God!

How Menstrual Health Impacts Education
How does Menstrual Health & Hygiene (MHH) influence girls’ ability to succeed?  One major way is through its impact on education.  Education is a key path to better livelihood options, greater economic mobility and ability to thrive.  Yet countless girls face barriers to staying in school.  Period poverty can be detrimental to a girl’s school attendance, test scores, and completion of secondary education.
It’s a devastating trend that impacts menstruators all around the world.  We don’t have data for Liberia, however a study in Ethiopia reported that 56% of girls were absent from school because they did not have menstrual health supplies.  Menstrual inequity is an undeniable driver of school absenteeism — but that’s not all.  Teasing from classmates, inadequate bathroom facilities and shame also negatively impact menstruators’ participation in school, and lead to worse overall educational outcomes.
The good news is: it doesn’t have to be this way.  A volunteer at Though These Hands, a Pennsylvania supplier of medical equipment donations to HWHL, has begun making reusable sanitary napkin (peripad) kits which were included in the June shipment of supplies to HWHL.  And we’re investigating the possibility of sewing these kits in Liberia.  A small step toward a world where all menstruators are able to stay (and fully engage) in school.
Reusable Sanitary Napkin Kits from Through These Hands

A Ministry of Girls’ Dresses
Let me introduce you to Joanne Ida a Pennsylvania seamstress.  To date, Joanne has made 815 dresses for little girls in Liberia!  Joanne is retired and lives with her husband in Hamburg, PA.  She writes, “I’ve enjoyed sewing for many years and had an abundance of leftover fabric and needed a worthwhile project to keep me busy.  I decided on sewing little girls’ dresses.   Friends and family have also donated fabric, thread and lace to my cause.  I have also sent dresses to Haiti and South Africa with a grand total over 1200 dresses sewn so far.  I am glad if I can make a difference in these little girls’ lives.”  Many thanks to Joanne and others for being a blessing to our Liberian friends.

Our plan is to continue to send out these newsletters on a quarterly basis so we don’t overwhelm your inboxes with emails!  For updates between newsletters, please visit our web site and Facebook page.
We treasure your partnership in this mission.  We’d love to hear from you anytime with your comments or questions.
Dick McCreight
Secretary, HWHL

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Healthy Women, Healthy Liberia!

PO Box 816

Waxahachie, TX 75168