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Month Four Assignment Idea

Greetings Sister Pulsers;

I am writing to pitch my idea to you. I am considering writing about women activist of Mtoto Wa Jua (Child of the Sun) an organization involved in educating mothers to the harmful effects of over exposure to the sun. It is very cultural in Uganda as well as most parts of Africa to carry the baby on the back, but few cover the babies head.

Over-exposure to Ultra-Violet Rays lowers the immunity increasing the risk of all infectious diseases. High UV levels reduce the effectiveness of vaccines. Since many vaccine-preventable diseases are extremely infectious, any factor that results in even a small decrease in vaccine efficacy can have a major impact on public health. Uganda is an equatorial country. The UV rays are among the highest in the world. Effective education programs can strengthen the national economy by reducing the financial burden of the health care systems caused by cancers and cataract treatment.

I look forward to receiving feedback on this article.


JaniceW's picture


Dr. Edonna,
I come from a region of the world where we have very high rates of skin cancer due to the holes in the ozone layer exposing people to the sun's harmful rays. Because of this, both the New Zealand and Australian governments have made concerted efforts to educate their citizens through public service announcements reminding people to put on a hat/covering, and slap on sunscreen. Schools are required to have hats as part of their school uniforms and children do not play out in the school yard during particularly hot periods in the day.

We are fortunate to have an active government program to educate the citizens but I can't imagine what it must be like in Uganda where little is known about UV damage and where babies are overexposed to the sun at such a young age. With the lowering of immunity to certain diseases, I can see how this poses much more of a national problem than just increased cancer rates. I look forward to reading your story and to learn how Mtoto Wa Jua is reaching out to the communities. Best wishes,

dr edonna's picture

Thanks for the input

Thank you for the input. I am glad to hear your government is so active. The challenge for us is the paradigm shift we have to make as Africans, who were built with natural protection from the sun with our melanin, but due to global warming, etc, we are now finding that our natural endowment is not enough. So, education is the first step towards transformation.

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