Helping people to learn how to manage their health better.
Statistics indicate that in South Africa the incidence of deaths from gastroenteritis (diarrhoea and dehydration), HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, heart disease, diabetes, rise alarmingly every year.
Children under five years of age and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. Many of these people would not have died if their loved ones or carers had known how to prevent illness, or how to manage illness better. There are many reasons for these alarming statistics, such as limited access to clinics and hospitals, unsafe water, poverty, lack of literacy etc. But most of all, so many of South African’s poorer people have limited knowledge of hygiene, healthy lifestyles and disease prevention.
We have seen remarkable changes in many of our participants’ lives. For example, women, in particular, as they learn about health promotion, tell us how they feel empowered to care for the health and life expectancy of their families better.
They also become interested in helping other people in their communities. Health and hygiene education also increases our participants’ chances of employment (about 25% of South Africans are unemployed).
The mission of Health Promotion South Africa Trust (HPSA), a registered non-profit organization, is to educate and promote health and well-being at the individual and community level in South Africa. HPSA operates in vulnerable communities, where adults, adolescents and children are taught essential information and practical skills on how to prevent disease and live a healthy lifestyle. We teach in community centres, in schools, in crèches, in churches and in commercial centres. Since the majority of our target population is women and girls, we also offer other workshops, when requested, such as dealing with violence and rape, parenting skills, and teenage pregnancy.
We call our teachers Senior Health Promoters, and we only train teachers who live in our targeted communities. Being taught by someone who speaks their language and lives in their community helps our clients to learn better. We also partner with other agencies in the communities we serve.
The impact of our work is considerable. We reach between 15, 000 and 20,000 people every year. Our attendees enjoy their learning and are very appreciative of the chance to learn knowledge that can improve the health and outlook of their families, friends and themselves. It is also often reported to us that many of our graduates find work in orphanages, crèches, elder care etc.
Years ago the two founders of Health Promotion South Africa Trust (HPSA) Dr h.c. Harold E Robles and Dr Jelle Braaksma, were very aware of the poor health of many people in vulnerable communities in South Africa. They realised that there was an urgent need to provide free health education to these vulnerable people. So they founded HPSA, as a very practical way of realising their dream of healthier South Africans!
There are plans to offer this approach to other communities in other African countries and beyond as soon as possible.
HPSA earned Barack Obama’s Presidential endorsement in 2016.
HPSA has been affiliated with the United Nations since 9 May 2019
Visit the site: healthpromoters.co.za