Helping Our Students Get Healthy

Thida is a 13-year-old ISF student, who joined us in 2012. When she first came to our school, the nurses realized she was very skinny and her health was poor. They immediately took her for a blood test and discovered Thida had Hepatitis B. ISF’s nurses put her on a treatment plan which involved regular testing and supplemental nutrition to make sure Thida gets strong and healthy.

Malnutrition and poor hygiene, no or lack of full required vaccinations are significant problems for children who live in extremely poor communities where we work. In order to protect children like Thida against diseases and help them stay healthy, we provide every new student with a full set of vaccinations against 9 childhood illnesses during their first year in our programme. As part of this process ISF’s nurses run blood tests to see which students have already contracted diseases such as Hepatitis B and ensure they get the care they need.

After our nurses received permission from the parents and the children themselves to undertake the provision of vaccinations, in early January we took the blood of 59 new students who joined us in November. They were tested for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. The blood testing was completed by late January. When the results were received several weeks later, we were delighted to see that our new students have not contracted these diseases and can receive the full set of the required vaccinations.

As for Thida, over the past years she has made a full recovery. She has produced enough antibodies to develop immunity and because of ISF’s nurses’ nutritional support has become a lot stronger. The girl now making her way to state school each day hardly resembles the timid skinny girl that arrived at our school just four years ago. Seeing her go on her way, Thida’s mother smiled and said: “I am very excited and happy to see my daughter grow up healthy like this. Before she joined ISF, she got a lot of diseases, sometimes I didn’t have money to buy medicines or get her treatment, or even buy enough food for her and the family to eat regularly. I have never expected that Thida would change from a skinny body to a healthy body and get the opportunity to receive a good education like other children.”