News Article
July 4, 2024

July 2024 - Power of Love is Not a Teen Anymore!

Dear Power of Love Friend: Alka, Summer is here. Yay!

As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of our launch, we are thankful for your unwavering support over the last two decades. Milestones often allow us to pause and take stock. We are sharing some of our learnings with you. We hope you find them valuable. Today we begin with where we work and why we do what we do.

The Health of People Living in Slums is A Crisis at the Periphery of Our Vision

It has been a long journey for us. Over the last few years, the HIV and AIDS epidemic has come under control in our communities. However, a larger and more pervasive crisis is impacting these communities now.

As many of you who travel overseas know, urban slums have become a pervasive feature of the global urban landscape, particularly in developing countries. Over 1 billion people live in slums today representing nearly a quarter of the global urban population. The situation is particularly acute in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 60% of urban inhabitants live in slums. 

One major fallout from the rapid growth of urban slums has been a massive healthcare crisis. We have witnessed this first-hand in Kenya, Zambia, and India. Slums are poorly served by the healthcare system. We have seen surges in tuberculosis (TB), malaria (we have distributed over 75,000 malaria bed nets), and more recently, cholera. In Zambia, the 2017 cholera epidemic was most prevalent in the slums with over 5,000 cases, while the 2023/24 epidemic closed schools for over a month (we worked with more than1000 families earlier this year on cholera response and none of the families contracted cholera). In addition, studies have found that in southern Africa nearly 1 in 5 children under five suffer from acute respiratory distress because of indoor particulate pollution from inefficient cooking stoves and biomass fuels. Over the last three years, we have delivered over 8,100 environmentally friendly high-efficiency stoves to homes in Zambia. These stoves run hot, burning the fuel completely with a negligible amount of particulate pollution. Finally, we are concerned by the rise in mental health problems in urban slums. The high levels of poverty, unemployment, stress, illnesses, and violence are the primary contributors to this. We already provide mental health counseling to adolescents in our program. Our current plan is to expand our mental health response to adults in the coming months and a pilot project is in the works. 

The health problems faced by residents of urban slums are a pressing global issue that continues to grow and requires immediate and comprehensive action. For our part, we are building innovative health solutions and ensuring we deliver them cost-effectively. Help us get to our goal by donating generously. Every dollar that goes towards malaria prevention saves lives. And, as always, 100% of your donations go towards programs and no part is used for our overheads.  

We are excited to continue this journey with you. 

The POL team

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