STORY
Dr. Joseph and the Health Center
Stitching the Fabric of our Foundation

August 27, 2018  


The Paper Fig Foundation has a unique mission of empowering communities through fashion, and the sewing skills that young women gain and the runway shows members produce are evidence of its success. But if our partners in Eastern Africa aren’t healthy, what’s the point of all this empowerment?

“In thinking of a community in general, you really have to look at the community holistically,” said Paper Fig founder Laurie DeJong. “And we have hundreds of girls who have gone through our sewing school, and hundreds of women who have gone through our empowerment program, but we came to realize that the region where most of them live has no access at all to basic healthcare.”

That’s where the Marietta Steinberg Health Care Center comes in.

Dr. Joseph treats people with malaria almost every day. This illness, which can be deadly, is completely treatable. But when people had to walk six miles to the nearest health facility, they were dying.

“Malaria in children is very dangerous,” explained Dr. Joseph. “It kills in minutes. So when someone gets to convulsion, it becomes very hard for a mother to carry that child to the town council or municipal council when the child is convulsing.”

In the health center, Dr. Joseph has the diagnostic tools to identify malaria, and he carries Coartem, which treats it. He administers the first pill in the office, and allows the patient to rest in the bed for a short while. Since the health center is currently designated as a Level 2 facility, the patient cannot stay overnight, and after a short rest, will be released with the rest of the medication to take at home.

Check back on Wednesday to find out why Dr. Joseph hopes Paper Fig Foundation can help upgrade to a Level 3 Health Center...

Ready to support the health of our sew school students and their families?