Findings have shown that living in substandard housing and utilization of contaminated water is detrimental to human health.However,the water condition in Africa is unsafe to use , many low-income people houses are inferior and women health is unhealthy. WHO and UNICEF (2012) point out,”About 2.6 billion people–half the developing world–lack even a simple improved latrine and 1.1 billion people have no access to any type of improved drinking water source.” Meanwhile, United Nations (2013)reports that,”The world is experiencing a global housing crisis;over 1.6 billion people live in substandard housing, 827 million people live in urban slums and 100 million are homeless.

“UN(2013) expands,”Approximately 170 million housing solutions are needed globally. If nothing is done the numbers are expected to increase greatly in the next few years.” Promoting a Healthier Africa has recognized similar needs. There is a need to improve on the housing standards,provide access to clean drinking water and to elevate women health to the rural dwellers. We have developed  three interventions to promote health in rural Africa.

General Condition of Low-Income Individuals in Africa

Sarah Hoffman founded Promoting a Healthier Africa in 2016,who grew up in Africa and witnessed unlivable housing poor Africans lived in and the lack of clean drinking water. Sarah drank and used water from wells which were contaminated with environmental pollutants, open defecation, pesticides and seepage from the pit latrines like everybody else. The end result was devastating; she suffered repeated waterborne diseases due to the presence of pathogenic microorganisms in the water; as a result of bathing, washing, drinking or preparing food with contaminated water.


Decent Housing is Health

The low-income individuals in Africa live in houses which are uninhabitable. Houses are substandard; they are built out of poor materials; mud, reeds and possess a health hazard. According to Sarah ,dusty floors harbor vectors such as jiggers ;these are dust or sand fleas found in  Sub-Saharan climate that burrow into victims’ flesh and lay pea-size eggs and multiply posing a health threat.Habitat for Humanity (2013), points out that, “Clean, decent, and stable housing is important. It does not only put a roof over someone’s head but also families can provide stability for their children, a family’s sense of dignity and pride growth, health, physical safety, and security, and also it leads to an increase in educational and job prospects.”

Potable Water for All!

Also, many people in Africa lack access to clean drinking water. The water people drink and use is contaminated with open defecation, seepage from pit latrines, pesticides and many environmental pollutants. According to World Health Organization (WHO) (2012),” 2.0 billion people lack improved sanitation, projected to be 2.4 billion 2015; 1.1 billion people (15% of the global population practice open defecation; and 949 million open defecators live in rural areas.” As a result of this behavior, the wells are contaminated by the feces which make its way to the water sources by the rain runoffs. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for more than 40% of global population without access to improved drinking water.Promoting a Healthier Africa ,Inc was formed to reduce some of these adverse conditions.

The Dignity of Our Girls and the Health of Postpartum Mothers Matters!

This is the newest program.It was added to the our services after assessing the needs of our teenage elementary and high school girls’ the stress they go through of not having sanitary pads as the days approach.Many of these girls come from poor families or single parent home,whereby their parents cannot afford a sanitary napkin. These girls stay in school the day. Could you imagine how stressful that could be when your physiology is in control and you do not have a remedy? Additionally, postpartum mothers  suffer infections after birth due to  unhygienic padding after birth. Promoting a Healthier Africa has added a pad program to meet these needs.

What Makes Our Organization Different From Others?

Our programs are community –based, and citizen-initiated. The combination of the two factors has gained us easy access to the communities we serve and support from the villagers, local leaders, clergy and council members. We find the residents of the communities we serve, ready to develop their capacity to deal with their housing and water problems. The work and resources of many have a much better chance of solving a problem and to meeting the goal than the work and resources of a few. Both strength-based and needs-based approach make our programs successful.

Decent Housing is Health

The housing and water problem needs to be addressed because bad housing has its greatest impact on children. As Harker a British housing expert ( as cited in Habitat for Humanity,2017) explains, “Childhood is a precious time when our experiences shape the adults we become―but children who grow up in bad housing are robbed of their future chances…. (they have) lower educational attainment and a greater likelihood of being impoverished and unemployed as adults.

” She expands, “Poor living conditions lead to poor health, which in turn limits a family’s ability to earn an income. Education and healthcare are not free in many countries, and so a limited income means that these are jeopardized. Providing the poor with decent home is a way of eradicating poverty and at the same time improves their health and breaking the cycle of families’ generational poverty.”    

Support Our Journey Today

   Potable water for all

Water is very important for our health. Kenneth S.Saladin in his book Anatomy &Physiology  points out that,”Most mixture in our bodies consist of chemicals dissolved in water. Water constitutes 50% to 75% of our body weight, depending on age, sex, fat content, and other factors.”Saladin expands that,”The structure of water has profound biological effects.” Because of the significance of water to heal, Promoting a Healthier Africa aspires to provide access to clean drinking water to all.

The Dignity of Our Girls and the Health of Postpartum Mothers Matters

This is a sanitary pads program. Many girls in rural Africa are forced to drop out of school or skip classes during their monthly periods due to preventable lack of sanitary napkins. Additionally, many postpartum mothers cannot afford sanitary pads. Instead, they use unhygienic old rags which give them infections.


Who is Promoting a Healthier Africa? Promoting a Healthier Africa (PAHA) is a private, nonprofit, community -based organization (NGO). It has a 501 (c)(3) status, that endeavors to promote health in rural Africa. PAHA believes that the water condition is unsafe in Africa,  housing condition is sub-standard, and women health needs to be improved especially in rural areas.