The cornerstone of the Rwanda program is our custom-developed health curriculum, Turi Kumwe, which is Kinyarwandan for “We are Together” and signifies the bond and responsibility players have with their teammates and coaches. Turi Kumwe encompasses the belief that when we work together as one, we can overcome the heavy burdens of gender inequality, lack of proper health education and can ultimately choose the path of our own future.
In order to create sustainable health change and break norms and stereotypes, ST has created an 8-unit health curriculum, called “Turikumwe Health Curriculum”. This curriculum is focusing on issues relevant and problematic to our participants. Each unit is taught for three months, and four units are taught annually to all boys, girls, and women. Prior to, and following the three months of educational sessions, oral tests are distributed to measure retention of information.
Each unit of health education marries basketball skill and health together, and are taught before, during or after practices. Over the past 3 years, we have had an average of a positive 50% change from pre to post knowledge testing. See chart (at bottom of page) for pre-and post test scores.
Non Communicable Disease
NCDs lead to more deaths globally than all other causes combined. In this health unit, we focus on education of Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, Chronic Respiratory Illness, Mental Illness, and Diabetes. Alongside of the education, we have worked with local partners to allow our participants to access services. ST has provided the following services:
Screening for lumps in breasts
Breast Cancer Initiative East Africa
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 70% of all cancer deaths occur in low and middle in-come countries where resources for prevention, diagnosis and treatment are limited or nonexistent. Lack of awareness, fear, myths, stigma and misinformation are associated with the prevalent late stage presentations of breast cancer by many African women. Advanced breast cancer is costly, difficult or sometimes impossible to treat and may result in death.
Breast Cancer Initiative East Africa (BCIEA) Inc., was formed to take the lead in the advancement of breast cancer surveillance and improved survival rates targeting the most neglected low in-come communities of East Africa.
ST is working with BCIEA to ensure that the women in our program know how to check for lumps, are screened for lumps, and follow up if lumps are found.
From July to September, Shooting Touch has been teaching preventative methods of contracting malaria to our participants and have been visiting homes to determine whether our participants are taking the right measures to prevent this sickness. As you see in the chart below, 75% of our participants have reported contracting malaria within the past year and about half have tears in their mosquito nets.
In addition to the education, we have supplied 300 people with bed nets sprayed with insecticide, which are effective for up to 3 years. Our goal is to make sure that all of our participants are protected. To donate to this cause, click here.
Recent findings from malaria surveys
78% of our women now feel comfortable rejecting sexual advances compared to only 34% prior to our unit.
89% of boys now feel comfortable with the changes experienced during puberty in comparison to the 44% before the unit.
480 families have access to clean water through distribution of Sur Eau
100% of participants have increased knowledge of health issues in Rwanda
100% of the women in our program have been screened for lumps in their breasts and have been taught how to check for lumps themselves