Soft Power Health - Using Education, Prevention, and Treatment to improve quality of life in Uganda

Soft Power Health - Using Education, Prevention, and Treatment to improve quality of life in Uganda

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We provide needy communities with a holistic approach to healthcare that includes education, prevention & treatment of common & life threatening diseases. With these tools, people can make lasting behavioral changes to improve their quality of life & standard of living & help break the vicious cycle of poverty. We run a primary, preventative healthcare clinic & two health education outreach programs for malaria and family planning. The outreach programs give basic education & tools to implement behavioral changes to improve health & well being. Due to the huge demand for family planning services, we opened our Mother & Child Wellness Center next to our clinic in February 2011 where we offer all types of family planning methods, treatment of malnutrition and administration of vaccinations.

About Project

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Soft Power Health is innovative because we focus so much attention on health education and prevention coupled with treatment. We want to help people to help themselves make lasting behavioral changes which will improve the quality of their lives and their family's lives. While there have been large efforts and huge amounts of money spent on getting nets to people, these efforts have failed because the basic understanding of how and why to use a mosquito net is absent as is the concept of people taking ownership of their healthcare. Our education and prevention emphasis helps the recipient take responsibility for their own health and well-being and share what they learn with their families and communities. Similarly, the family planning outreach program provides education along with different methods of family planning in the field with follow up. Likewise, our clinic provides treatment and education to patients who are in need. A synergy exists between the outreach programs and the clinic such that the sum total of all of our programs are much greater and more effective than the individual parts. We know of no other organizations doing anything similar to what we do and reaching as many people as we do with the resources that we have.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

We offer community-based health education outreach programs for malaria and family planning combined with treatment services. These are offered at the Allan Stone Community Health Clinic and Mother and Child Wellness Center, respectively. Our hope is that rural poor Ugandans have the opportunity to address all aspects of the health problems they face and make educated decisions for themselves and their families. Through Soft Power Health's outreach programs, clinic, and Mother and Child Wellness Center, people have the opportunity to receive basic life-saving health education and can learn to implement behavioral changes. This initial care can then be supported by our health education teams. For example, our malaria educators follow up on all the nets that are sold during the malaria education sessions, visiting people at home to see whether or not nets are hanging and to fill out our questionnaire about malaria and nets usage. With our family planning outreach program, our family planning educators provide education about conception, contraception, STIs, nutrition, and deworming and offer services for those interested there in the field, following up in the same 40 villages every three months. Thus, we are able to reach any people we may miss; follow up with those who wish to continue, and refer anyone who wants different services to our clinic and the Mother and Child Wellness Center.
About You
Soft Power Health
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

Soft Power Health

Organization Phone

914 282 7354 or +256 782 69 01 27

Organization Address

2887 Purchase St. Purchase, NY 10577

Organization Country

, NY, Westchester County

Country where this project is creating social impact


How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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What stage is your project in?

Operating for more than 5 years

Tell us about the community that you engage? eg. economic conditions, political structures, norms and values, demographic trends, history, and experience with engagement efforts.

We work in rural subsistence farming and fishing villages where people survive on less than a dollar a day. Many people simply do not have access to even the most basic care or education and few can afford to pay the hospital fees that are charged for very inadequate care that is provided at the government health centers where care is supposed to be free. We began all of our projects only after surveying the villages where we work and asking them what they needed. These communities expressed a strong desire for health education and for the practical tools to take better care of themselves and their families. We have tailored what we do to meet the needs of the communities we work in.

Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project

Jessie Stone is an MD and professional whitewater kayaker. In 2003, she traveled to Uganda to do an expedition on the Nile river and while she was there, two of her expedition mates got malaria and she had to treat them. This experience opened her eyes to the threat local people faced when they contracted malaria. After doing a village survey in the local village where she was staying during the kayaking expedition, she discovered that no one had mosquito nets, and no one understood how they got malaria. In fact, people spent most of their money on the treatment of malaria, so everyone wanted more information about malaria and how to prevent it. They were interested and wanted to buy mosquito nets. Based on this information, she thought that there was something very simple that could be done to help people protect themselves and their families against this killer disease. With the guidance of motivated local Ugandans, she developed a malaria education and prevention model. Once the first malaria education session and net sale was done, word got out and the demand for nets and education became insatiable. A few years later, the local village asked her to build a clinic if they donated the land, and from then on, the programs have continued to grow.

Social Impact
Please describe how your project has been successful and how that success is measured

We have been providing malaria education and prevention programs
in 5 districts of Uganda for the past 8 years, selling over 50,000
mosquito nets and following up on nearly 10,000 of those nets. These
long-lasting insecticide treated nets (LLINs) are sold at a subsidized
price of 3,000 shillings (roughly $1.75), and we sponsor the difference
(the nets cost about $7.50 each). Our follow-up data show that we
have educated close to 150,000 people about malaria prevention and
65-70% of net buyers who attend our education sessions use the
nets properly and report less malaria. We have been treating patients
at the Allan Stone Community Health clinic for 5 years as of this
January 2011, seeing an average of 50 patients per day. Ugandan
doctors, nurses and lab technicians run the clinic and offer treatment
of primary healthcare problems, vaccinations and malaria prevention
for the surrounding villages. In addition to meeting the need for rural
medical care, the clinic also offers Ugandans employment opportunities.
We have been operating the family planning education and outreach
programs in 3 districts for 5 years. Every three months, we return to
these same villages to re-educate and re-administer various methods
of contraception and provide continuity of care for the communities we
work with. As of January 2011, we work in 40 villages and over 4,000
women have received our services. Due to the high demand for family planning services, we opened the Mother and Child Wellness Center in February 2011 where we have already performed 52 tubal ligations, placed 49 long term contraceptive implants, and inserted 12 IUDs. In addition, we have given 162 full courses of vaccinations and treated 60 cases of malnutrition. Further, we have given 195 injections of depo provera and distributed 7 courses of pil plan along with distributing thousands of condoms. We measure our success by the community demand for our services and return visits of our patients and community members which is extremely high.

How many people have been impacted by your project?

More than 10,000

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?

More than 10,000

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

To expand our model based on community needs & demand for services & continue to provide preventative health education & mosquito nets, family planning methods & offer the best medical care possible.

Task 1

Quarterly report on malaria education, net sales and follow-ups

Task 2

Quarterly report on family planning outreach, number and type of family planning methods administered, condoms distributed, and de-worming treatment administered.

Task 3

Reports on patients seen at clinic, number of patients seen & number & type of diseases treated. Report on Mother & Child Wellness Center with number of women & children treated services administered.

Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Identify: the total # of patients treated; # & types of family planning administered in field; number of nets sold & follow up; number & type of services given at the mother & child wellness center.

Task 1

Malaria education and prevention outreaches as per our schedule which is ongoing

Task 2

Family planning outreaches in the 40 villages we work in which is ongoing and as per our schedule

Task 3

clinic patients seen and treated as per monthly clinic records; mothers and children treated at the mother and child wellness center

How will your project evolve over the next three years?

We will continue to expand our services as demand requires and finances permit, and we certainly hope to work with more partners to help expand our model in malaria, family planning and primary healthcare. Our aim has always been to help make our model as sustainable as possible and to help people become empowered to take care of their own health and well-being. Our motto is prevention is better (and cheaper) than any cure.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

The biggest barriers are access, adaptability and resources. Many of the communities we work in are very remote and therefore success depends on mobilizing the community and making sure they are aware of our activities in a timely fashion and will be present for our visits. We need to continue to work in these areas and overcome the difficulty of reaching people with improved planning and by making use of grassroots means to mobilize and inform people about our activities.

Tell us about your partnerships

We partner with a number of small NGOs and non-profits to help reach as many people as possible. We work with Marie Stopes, an international reproductive health organization, PACE (formerly PSI), the Ugandan National Malaria Control Program, the Peace Corps, and many very small grassroots organizations locally in Uganda as well as local political and church leaders.

Explain your selections

we are funded by individuals, foundations and people who have visited our site in Uganda.

How do you plan to strengthen your project in the next three years?

We hope to broaden our donor base by reaching out to more people through grassroots advertising, partnering with organizations to get the name out and to continue to provide quality, affordable healthcare to Ugandans in need. We plan to further raise awareness of our mission through increased use of social networking and media coverage and through the help of our volunteers.

Which barriers to health and well-being does your innovation address?
Please select up to three in order of relevancy to your project.


Lack of physical access to care/lack of facilities


Lack of affordable care


Limited access to preventative tools or resources

Please describe how your innovation specifically tackles the barriers listed above.

We go to the communities that are most in need, we provide the care at an extremely affordable cost, we provide the education with which these communities can use to make choices for their families and know how to live healthier, happier lives. Often, the villages we visit have no way of accessing a clinic or hospital, so by going to them directly, we provide a service that is otherwise completely unavailable to them.

How are you growing the impact of your organization or initiative?
Please select up to three potential pathways in order of relevancy to you.



Influenced other organizations and institutions through the spread of best practices


Repurposed your model for other sectors/development needs

Please describe which of your growth activities are current or planned for the immediate future.

In February of this year, we opened the Mother and Child Wellness Center, providing all the family planning & reproductive health services we offered in the field plus other long term & permanent methods of family planning, the treatment of malnutrition, and vaccinations. We can now accommodate a larger number of women and children for treatment and can provide the best possible preventative education. We partner with other organizations such as Marie Stopes to offer tubal ligations and vasectomies. We work with PACE to train all of our nurses to place long term birth control implants. We plan to continue these services and offer more as the need arises. In addition, we plan to expand our malaria education and prevention program as well as the number of patients we treat at the clinic.

Do you collaborate with any of the following: (Check all that apply)

NGOs/Nonprofits, For profit companies, Academia/universities.

If yes, how have these collaborations helped your innovation to succeed?

Partnering is key in developing countries. We partner with different organizations, like Marie Stopes and the Peace Corps, to share our model and to share ideas about what works and what needs to be improved. This is an absolute necessity for creating a working organization and a model that can be used by others.