Culturally, the shift is already taking place with over 60% of Parliament being female. Historically, leadership positions in health care have been held by males, but at Health Builders our Director of Programs and Development, Immaculate Kyarisiima, is a female and role model as part of our executive team. As we continue to grow, we purposely strive to hire female graduates from Kepler University to be trained in health care and, ultimately, for leadership roles.
Ongoing interventions also focus on ensuring that women live healthy and safe lives. Mothers in East Africa often live in the poorest of circumstances and are responsible for maintaining the household with few resources. By empowering them with health education about how to keep their children safe from infection and disease, and proper diagnosis and treatment of their children, they are able to divert scarce resources toward raising a healthy family capable of growing beyond childhood and ultimately being educated to lead independent lives.
In addition, our Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health programs are highly impactful in addressing the unique needs of adolescent and teen girls by providing a safe, confidential environment to discuss sexuality, contraception, safe sex, prevention of STIs including HIV/ AIDS, early marriage, gender-based violence, and dropping out of school. These topics are social taboos and young females are often caught in a cycle of poverty with no education and little opportunity to make positive life decisions so they may have productive, independent lives, which in turn strengthens their families, communities and the nation as a whole. For all women, we support and help to train health care providers in family planning, working alongside the MOH in progressing their goal of easy access to contraceptives and a lower birth rate per woman, helping with poverty alleviation.