McKenzie Canon, senior nursing student

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McKenzie Canon, senior nursing pupil

Nursing pupil McKenzie Canon was disenchanted this summer time when her month-long medical outreach journey was canceled on account of COVID-19.

Canon had been relying on serving to women in Ghana keep at school by donating a well being product she invented for them: reusable female hygiene pads.

“At present, a big proportion of younger Ghanaian ladies cease attending faculty after they start menstruation, on account of inaccessibility to correct female hygiene merchandise and the implications of cultural taboos,” she stated.

A senior on the College of Arkansas, the plan was for Canon to journey to Ghana as a part of the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing‘s Group Well being Examine Overseas program. She had created a instructing plan centered across the ideas of Retaining Ladies in Faculty, a global program in search of to cease academic limitations positioned on ladies in creating international locations as a result of complexities of puberty.

When formal schooling ends between the ages of 12 and 16, it straight impacts a lady’s position locally, reproductive well being, and alternatives to determine herself economically, Canon stated.

“All of those life experiences may be improved by intersecting the reason for their absence in school,” she stated.

That is why Canon designed the reusable pads. She created a sample for them and enlisted her household to assist take a look at and make them. She realized to stitch. A small cadre of seamstresses had created greater than 400 when the journey was canceled.

She appears to be like ahead to introducing this system subsequent summer time.

Canon was meticulous when researching her mission, which has changed into her Honor’s School thesis. She wished to give you an answer that was sustainable and supplied extra than simply schooling.

“I need to present options which might be nicely thought out and fight potential points earlier than they come up. Utilizing assets that aren’t culturally acceptable, environmentally protected, or sustainable within the long-term create extra hurt in communities than advantages,” she stated. “An uneducated or band-aid resolution may trigger hurt to the Ghanaian group.”

Reusable female pads have been proven to last as long as 5 years, which may doubtlessly maintain ladies from the start of puberty to the tip of their education. It additionally removes the environmental hurt that will come from utilizing disposable merchandise in an space missing waste administration programs.

The material Canon used is antimicrobial to stop the buildup of micro organism and cut back the chance of leakage. She stated the truth that the examine overseas program occurs yearly ensures follow-up of the mission to handle any wanted modifications and continued assets for brand new ladies starting puberty.

Canon is dedicated to enhancing ladies’s reproductive well being.

After graduating in Could 2021, she plans to use to graduate faculty to change into an authorized Nurse Midwife so she will be able to practice midwives abroad, in addition to study from the worldwide group.

“I can not wait to have a continued affect on ladies’s well being globally as my full-time profession,” she stated.

Her father’s worldwide journey when she was a toddler piqued Canon’s curiosity in overseas international locations. Then she was uncovered to healthcare disparities and poverty by way of a wide range of experiences, together with serving overseas and on the chief board of a student-run nonprofit that raised cash to pay hospital money owed throughout her senior 12 months of highschool in Overland, Kansas.

“I discovered it very troubling that one thing so simple as geography may decide somebody’s life consequence,” she stated. “There are others who deserve greater than the life they’ve been given.”

Canon is keen about bringing assets to areas that lack accessibility and advocacy.

“I need to enhance high quality of life and dwelling requirements throughout the globe so individuals have extra alternatives and a higher likelihood at stepping outdoors of the cycle of poverty,” she stated. “A lot of that may start on the healthcare stage, I consider. I am additionally keen about protecting communities and tradition intact.”


This story is the most recent in a collection known as the Dean’s Spotlight, that includes excellent college students within the College of Education and Health Professions. Go to COEHP’s on-line journal, the Colleague, for extra information from the six models that make up the School. Go to the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing web page for extra data on COEHP’s nursing program.



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