This month 445 elementary school students are excited to be returning to school or starting school in Buhumba Village on Idjwi Island. There will be 252 boys and 193 girls in the six grades at the primary school.
It has been an exciting summer. In early August, our medical team returned to the school to examine and treat students. There is little medical infrastructure on the island, and many of the children only see doctors when they come to school. Our team consisted of a global health pediatrician and research specialist who were supported by a local nutritionist and other local representatives. The families lined up at the school to see the doctor. Our team spent a week at the school examining children -- more than 100 in total -- and treated students for intestinal parasites, malaria, and other conditions. Although much more is needed, our team was pleased to learn that our repeat visits and treatments have resulted in a noticeable improvement in the health among the students.
Clean water is also critical for the students' health and hygiene, and clean water is a scarce resource on Idjwi Island. The school has obtained access to water at a new well in a nearby village. We are researching methods for bringing water and installing plumbing at the school. In the meantime, the school is setting up temporary water stations outside of each classroom every day.
The students, teachers and community are thrilled about this third year in their new school building. We continue to have big plans, and appreciate the support of everyone who is helping to improve education for the growing student body.
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