This summer Dr. Linda Taylor joined us our health team when we visited the St. Francis Health Center in Migyera. As a GYN physician she offered to conduct physical exams and cerivcal cancer screenings for women. Her schedule was packed with 115 appointments and many other women on a wait list. With the portable ultrasound machine which Linda carried on her back in a backpack she was able to exam the women and diagnois fibroids, a pregnancy and other problems. The ultra sound uses sound waves to make a picture of the organs - the bladder, ovaries, uterus, cervix and fallopian tubes.
While the village women were waiting to see Dr. Taylor, we interviewed them and asked them how to improve the maternity services at St. Francis Health Center. They unanimously responded with a request for an ultra sound machine. The nearest one is 50 miles away in Luweero.
Thanks to a generous donation from Joseph Temple in remembrance of his wife Ann Temple, the health center will now have an ultra sound along with other specialized equipment for the maternity unity. Healthy mothers means healthy babies. We are very grateful to Joseph Temple, Dr. Taylor's father.
Our Next Goal is to upgrade our Laboratory
Fifty miles is a very long distance for our patients to travel and usually by motorcycle for certain lab tests. (For example - complete blood counts (CBC) are done to monitor overall health, to screen for some diseases and to confimr a diagnois of a medical condition e.g. anemia, infection and leukemia.)
We would appreciate any contribution large or small toward upgrading our laboratory services and improving the health of our children and families in Migyera.
tCervical Cancer Screening: Despite lacking the proper exam table, examination light and other equipment, Dr. Linda Taylor, a talented and dedicated GYN physician from the US came prepared and screened 110 MIgyera women for cervical cancer giving each woman a thorough physical. Her days were long beginning at 9:30am and ending about 8pm. After seeing 30 women a day she was tired but was also satisfied knowing that the women's many concerns were addressed. The health center does not have a much desired ultra sound machine. With that in mind, Linda brought a portable one. Her exams did not result in cervical cancer diagnosis but did reveal a few surprises - unexpected pregnancy, fibroid tumors and unfortunatley an HIV diagnosis.
Needs: In follow up discussions, the women identified their wishes for improved services at the health center. These include an ultrasound machine, another midwife, dental and services, ophthalmology and a minor surgery room for circumcisions and treating accident victims. A generous donation of instruments for dental extractions by Ricke Krantz DDS and her staff was a wonderful surprise for our dentist, Miriam Namugula. More equipment is needed to provide a full range of dental care and hygiene.
Health Physicals A team of nurses and doctors performed health physicals on 450 St. Lawrence School students including children from the nursery school. Ring worm was quite common followed by malaria, worms, respiratory conditions and a TB diagnosis. Our US school health team led by Susan Peacock came prepared with needed supplies and organized a health supply cabinet at the school.
The one issue which is now is taking a back seat is lack of clean water. We expect the incidence of water born diseases like typhoid and diarrhea to decrease now that the local community has access to clean water.
Yes our health center lacks certain equipment which would improve patient care especially in the maternity area. However, we are slowly moving forward providing care where care was previously lacking. Thank you to our donors and supporters and 2014 medical team.
HIV Care: The St. Francis Health Center provides a number of health care services to the people of Migeyra. In collaboration with Midlmay Uganda.one of these is HIV testing to identify members of the community who are HIV positive. Recently 105 clients were tested resulting in 5 who were positive. The total number of clients who are being treated for HIV at the health center has grown to 303. Because Migyera town is a "hot spot" for HIV, it is very important to provide care to those who are postive. If the treatment decreases the viral load to undetectable, they are less likely to transmit the virus to someone else. Thus, treatment is also prevention.
Dental Care: Another important service the health center would like to offer is dental care. A clinic room has been equipped with a dental chair and tray table both of which were shipped from the US last year. A dentist is willing to provide services but the health center currently has just one set of adult forceps. Only extractions can be carried out. There is no equipment to do fillings.
Below is a list of basic equipment needed at the clinic. With this equipment children and adults in Migyera can receive the dental care they need.
If you would like to help CALU bring dental care to the people of Migyera, see the list below.
Item Quantity Unit Cost Amount UGX Amount USD$
1. A set of children’s forceps 1 350,000 350,000 140
2. Universal upper molar forceps 2 38,000 76,000 30
3. Right upper molar forceps 6 30,000 180,000 72
4. Left upper molar forceps 6 35,000 210,000 85
5. Elevators 7 22,000 154,000 62
6. Dental mirrors 4 16,000 64,000 26
7. Upper root forceps 4 27,000 108,000 44
8. Lower root forceps 4 27,000 108,000 44
9. Lower premolar forceps 4 30,000 120,000 48
10. Upper premolar forceps 4 30,000 120,000 48
11. Central upper incisors forceps 2 28,000 56,000 23
Total 1,546,000 $622
Thank you for your continued interest and support.
The community of Migyera recently welcomed new staff to the St. Francis Health Center. Raphael Ibanda, the clinical officer joined the health team this past December. MILDMAY Uganda, a CALU partner and an NGO (Non government Organization) providing HIV care to clients in Migeyra, agreed to fund a nurse and a midwife thereby expanding the services the health center can provide to the community.
One of the major challenges for the health center and the local community is obtaining clean water due to the severity of this year’s dry season. The ongoing construction of the water project creates excitement among the staff and patients as access to plentiful, clean water is not too far off.
Although additional equipment and supplies are needed in the maternity unit like a fetal scope, a scale for weighing babies, and Oxygen concentrator, ambu bags, and a resuscitation table, there were seven deliveries in the month of December. With the addition of Eva Namuyanja, a midwife we expect more deliveries in the coming months. Additional donations will support equipment for the maternity unit and long term a minor surgery room.
The St. Francis Health Clinic officially opened on July 4th, 2012 and has been providing reliable and critical care to the 5000 people of rural Migyera ever since. The first year was filled with several important accomplishments including the purchase of a Vaccine refrigerator so immunizations can be administered in house as well as at outreach stations, the ability to maintain a sufficient supply of medicine in both the Pharmacy and the dispensing room, providing dental care with a newly acquired dental set, the refurbishing of a large on site water tank in order to harvest their own water rather than continuing to buy it, and the creation of a Health Unit Management Committee for clinic oversight. In a little over a year the center has also grown to its current staff of a Senior Clinical Officer, Registered Comprehensive Nurse, Enrolled Nurse, Nursing Aide, Laboratory Assistant, Cashier, Security Officer, and Ward Cleaner, each of whom provide necessary services in the daily operation of the facility. During this past August alone there were 295 outpatients, 50 admitted patients, 10 babies delivered, 263 lab tests, 17 prenatal consults, and 8 HIV/AIDS patients receiving antiretroviral therapy.
We are extremely proud of the St. Francis Health Clinic and those who have worked so diligently to provide the tremendous care and range of services that are offered. However, in order to maintain this level of care there is still much work to be done such as hiring a midwife, purchasing medical equipment, and continuing education for the staff. Presently the clinic is on target to achieve one of its goals, that of becoming operationally self sufficient, with your continued generous donations the clinic will be able to achieve another, which is accessible, immediate, and essential care to the growing numbers of people who need it.
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