Health & Education


“The best way to cyclically improve health is by giving children an education.”

We’ve always been big believers that getting involved and being involved in our line of work is an incredible learning process. Even those of us who work full time for Building Tomorrow find that, as much of a cliche as it sounds, we really do learn something new every day.

Looks like the same is true for our students, too. As a continuation of Tuesday’s post, below is an excerpt from Brianne’s latest journal entry for her Global Health class at Mercer University where she’s learned about the very direct link between health and education.

Initially I thought our global health project was just about educating students and how educating them would hopefully allow them to get out of their impoverished communities. However, our discussions in class have helped me understand all the ways that education can effect health. Uganda is classified as a low income country and in class readings I saw that low income countries often have poor performance health systems. Some of the reasons for this poor performance could be issues with governance of the health system, number of people trained to give healthcare, and lack of financial resources. Our project could help combat all of these issues. By raising money to build a school, we are educating the future of Uganda. Having more educated children would mean having more of the population aware of the importance of voting and leadership in the country. This in turn would make the voting population more informed in decision making which would make them more likely to elect officials that could address the issues of health in the country. Building more schools would also increase the number of kids that would go on to work jobs in healthcare, such as physicians, midwives, and technicians. Having better staffed hospitals would insure quality care as well as encourage more hospitals to be built to service more of the population. People with more education are also more likely to get higher paying jobs and by educating more children we are encouraging a generation to make more money. This would decrease the number of people living below $! a day.

We also thought about factors that would have an effect on education. One of these factors is the environment, which we learned about in chapter 7. Kids who do not have access to clean water or sanitation are more likely to be sickly and underdeveloped. There is a correlation between health status and learning because children who are not healthy are not as likely to attend a school. This means that children who have proper nutrition are more likely to attend school and also preform better in school. Whether or not the mother attended school is also a determinant in the child’s nutritional status and education. Mothers who are healthy are more likely to attend school and well educated mother’s often have children with better nutritional statuses and their kids are more likely to go to school as well.

Service Learning has allowed me to establish a connection between all of the information covered and our project. I can see connections that I didn’t know existed between education and health and how they both effect each other creating a cycle of health and education. Providing students in Uganda with a school will educate them so hopefully they will lead healthier lives and raise children that have healthier lives. The best way to cyclically improve health is by giving children an education.

My groups’ hopes through this project is to help others understand this too. We are putting up flyers for an information meeting because we are not only trying to raise money but also educate people here about the huge impact our project could have on a group of kids, which could lead to an impact in a community and then an impact on the world.

Brianne Bower
Building Tomorrow Chapter President
Class of 2015
Mercer University

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