This fall, our Children’s Services Director, Antonio “Tony” Gonondo, completed an 18-month certificate program for teaching health education to others. This achievement not only furthers him professionally, but it also extends his role within Hope of a Nation. The program educated him on a variety of health and disease related issues from hygiene, nutrition, water, and sanitation issues to common diseases and illnesses in Mozambique and how to prevent them.
In addition to classroom instruction, his studies included a series of field trips and mini-internships to places like water treatment facilities where he got to see first-hand how urban communities purify their water system; even the infectious disease unit of a hospital to learn how spread of disease is avoided.
Equipped with this new knowledge and some illustrative diagrams, Tony will soon be teaching people in the community the importance of these topics and how they can contribute to better health and disease prevention within their own families. This should also help reduce the risk of infant and child mortality through parent education.
UNICEF reports that each day an estimated 320 children under the age of five die from preventable and treatable diseases in Mozambique, things like diarrhea, malaria, and respiratory infections. They also found a strong correlation between a child’s chance of survival and the mother’s education level. They estimated 97% of children whose mothers have achieved secondary or higher education are saved through therapies like oral rehydration (a common treatment for diarrhea), whereas only 65% of children with mothers lacking such education are saved. Truly, knowledge can save lives!
In 2024, we will be coordinating opportunities for Tony to educate local communities through gatherings within the local church and other locations to improve knowledge on health and disease topics. By empowering individuals with awareness, we hope to decrease the number of deaths that would have otherwise been easily prevented and treated.