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Health | 21 April 2016

Mannya's new peddle power

Back in March, our Cotton On stores in the US and Cotton On KIDS stores in New Zealand asked customers to round up their purchases, donate spare change and help us to purchase bikes for healthcare workers in Uganda. You can read more about the NZ project here.

With this in mind, we’re very excited to announce that the bikes have now arrived in Mannya and been distributed to volunteer healthcare workers! The teams carry medication to treat kids under 5 for malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea, and are each responsible for 10 homes in the region.

As you can see by the photos, they were overjoyed with their new peddle power, which will make it much easier to carry the medication and reach a wider area of the community every week.

Vincent, who heads up the Mannya Health Centre is thrilled to receive the bikes and believes they will make a significant difference to the village.

“This is a feat; another sign of good will, because of your efforts, community empowerment in Mannya is improving. Thank you very much.”

As we delivered the bikes to the Health Care Centre, we sat down with Vincent and asked him a few questions about the impact this mode of transport will make to his community.

What does a normal day look like for these healthcare volunteers in Mannya?
The volunteers visit village members and share health information on a broad range of medical services. They also follow up with malaria and HIV patients and check up on newborn babies at home. They help save lives through identifying danger signs for preventable diseases and in higher-risk groups like children and pregnant women.

How do your teams currently operate?
Our volunteers currently have to walk to homes and so there are many limitations. Some include:
- Very brief visits, since they are planned only around personal errands.
- Failure of patients to regularly attend meetings organized at the health centre due to difficulty getting there.
- Loss of credibility from the village members due to rare health visits by our volunteers. How will the bicycles help?
- The bicycles will allow for more frequent and focused village health visits.
- We’ll be able to have a prompt response when called upon by the outreach communities. - We can assist in referrals where possible, with the bicycles.
- Overall we look forward to improving the credibility of our Health Service within the community and helping many more people to feel well.

How will the children in the community benefit?
- Healthcare workers will easily carry out de-worming exercises for the children as well as improve the instance of preventable disease.
- Healthcare workers will easily mobilize village members for outreach immunization days for children.
- They will be in a better position to appropriately refer families with children as victims of abuse for help and direct where needed to the central village health care centre.

Thank you to all of our customers and retail teams for their support in making this simple, yet life changing project a possibility. 

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The Cotton On Foundation is the Cotton On Group’s philanthropic arm, funding projects in Australia and overseas through a unique partnership with customers and employees. We have a number of designated initiatives currently underway and unfortunately are unable to support additional projects at this time.

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