Encouraging Family Wellness in Togo
Millions of families in Togo live below the poverty
line, and the challenges facing the poor have been great after years of civil
unrest wreaked havoc on the country's political stability. ChildFund has
worked in Togo since 1984, and although conditions have improved in the past
29 years, the road to good health and economic security is long for many
Approximately one third
of Togo's population lives in poverty. For the country's poorest families,
everyday life poses a variety of challenges. In rural communities, access to
basic health care is scarce, as many parents simply cannot afford to transport
their children to the nearest medical center, even in the event of an emergency.
Food shortage is another serious problem. According to UNICEF, 30 percent of
children under the age of 5 suffered
from moderate to severe stunting due to malnutrition between 2006 and 2010,
and 21 percent of children were moderately to severely underweight during this
Poor sanitation and
hygiene are also serious issues in Togo. In 2008, just 3 percent of people
living in rural areas in Togo had access to improved sanitation facilities,
which led to the spread of bacterial diseases such as diarrhea. Also, less than
half of families living in rural Togo had access to clean drinking water.
A Helping Hand
For rural health
clinics, the burden can often be too much to bear. With limited supplies and
insufficient numbers of trained health care professionals, many clinics are
simply unable to meet the needs of the community, which further jeopardizes the
safety of thousands of children. For this reason, ChildFund has helped support
health centers and clinics that provide lifesaving vaccinations against
preventable illnesses like measles, diphtheria, whooping cough and polio.
Health education is
another vital aspect of our work in Togo. Some families are unaware of the steps
they can take to mitigate these dangers to their children's health, so we work
with community leaders to highlight the benefits of national immunization
programs and other health care initiatives. We also help families understand the
importance of early intervention, particularly by bringing their children to
health clinics at the first signs of serious illness.
Clean Water, Healthy Starts
access to basic health care services is vital to rural communities in Togo, so
too is improving supplies of drinking water and sanitation systems. ChildFund
works closely with community water committees to ensure that newly installed
water pumps and latrines are being used effectively and being maintained,we are
helping reduce the spread of potentially life-threatening illnesses.
Our initiatives in Togo
have proven successful, and thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we have
been able to improve the quality of life for many families. However, the
situation in some parts of the country remains dire, and we need your help.
To invest in the future
of Togo's children, please consider purchasing a gift from ChildFund's Gifts
of Love & Hope catalog. There are many ways to help, from
installing new latrines in villages to building water pumps. These gifts will
make a tremendous difference to Togolese families living in poverty. A gift of
just $50 will help build latrines, water pumps and other vital facilities in
rural villages, and $132 will provide a community with one
dozen chemically treated mosquito nets to combat the spread of malaria.