Every mother wants healthy children.
And in the early days of a child’s life, parents and doctors understandably focus on how the baby’s physical development—is she gaining weight? Is he developing reflexes? Are they hitting all of the milestones of a healthy and thriving child?
Lanyero smiles as she watches her 8 months old baby, Opio play with a toy. He has been very ill, but the treatment that she has received from the clinic is making him better each day. The doctor has just checked on him and is happy with the progress of recovery. And Lanyero is happy with the progress too. The other mother smiles with her.
The mothers are happy with the service provided for their children. Ensuring the well being of mothers and children during and after illness is a priority for Karin Community Initiatives Uganda (KICU).
As we sit for our monthly management meetings our focus is on the children like Opio. Our overall goals are marched with the Millennium Development Goals and determining what we must do in the next months as the MDG plans end this year. In 2000, an estimated 9.9 million children around the world died before age 5. This number dropped to 6.3 million in 2013. The 3.6 million lives that have been saved during this timeframe is far more than a statistic – it is a staggering and heartening reminder of the power we have to better the lives of children, families and communities throughout the world.
At the Karin clinics, even though our figures feel like a drop in the ocean, nevertheless we reached out to 12,900 children in the last year alone.
Whilst we have a lot to celebrate when we look at the progress made, we cannot afford to be complacent- far too many of the vulnerable and hard to reach children are being left behind. We need to continue the job of ensuring every child can reach his or her potential and this year’s action is a fitting forum to further this work.
Our plan is to put more emphasis on health education and promotion intervention into program in innovative ways- figuring out what works in our local context and building an evidence base with our district t effectively support children and parents in the early years.
We think of mothers like Lanyero who want to keep her children safe. Lanyero and so many mothers in the village of Agonga want to know how to keep their children healthy and free from danger.
We can only do this with your support. By supporting our rural health centres and ensuring that its equipped and managed by well-trained medical professionals.
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For the last four months, we have been sending babies away because we had no vaccines, it was a nationwide problem. A very painful experieince for all of us, but the district health office assured us that this situation will not go for long and we should encourage the mothers to keep checking at their nearest facilities and make sure that their children are immunised. However, we continue to vaccinate all the children under five years old for the others diseases.
When Acan Mary had her baby over the weekend, the immunisation department of the local hospital was closed. She therefore came to the Karin Medical Facility very frightened that her child did not get the first vaccines of BCG and OPV0 that a newly born should receive. There was little that the health workers could do, it was a nationwide problem, so they adviced her to take care of her child.
Moses Ogwang is our unit vaccinator, his routine work in the immunization program involves providing immunization services, Counseling/Health Education to parents/caretakers; Planning and conducting outreaches; Screening for immunization status, reducing missed opportunities; Forecasting, ordering and storing vaccines and other logistics; maintaining fridge temperature within the recommended ranges (2-8deg centigrade); Defrosting fridge and filling vaccine control book daily. Moses enjoys his job and he always advices the clients about the importance of immunization. He was very disturbed by the lack of vaccines for babies, because he knows the implications.
Many achievements have been made in this program we are now able to secure ADs syringes and 100needles to improve on injection safety and confidence of the community in the services. Uganda was declared polio-free in 2006 and Measles mortality and morbidity reduced >90% and we are almost attaining Maternal neonatal tetanus elimination
The work that we do would not continue without the support from you. We would like to thank you all for the support that have made all of our work possible. Northern Uganda is still one of the most challenging places in the world for children under five years old, and we need you to recruit more support for our cause. When potential supporters hear us talking about why they should make a donation today, they listen. But when your friends and family hear you talk about our work as someone who is already a supporter and knows that we are making a difference, they’ll act.
I feel like we always start these updates with something along the lines of “this was a busy month.” The reality is that every month is a busy month at the our health centres. The pace of the last three months has obviously been no different. These months has included finalizing our annual reports with the government, finalising strategic documents, several trainings for our staff, staff from neighbouring clinic visiting our clinic and outreach sites to carry out family planning, immunization and antenatal care in our community.
We are always grateful to our friends and supporters for standing with us the last three months since we last communicated with you. The following are details of how each service offered at the clinic has been running.
A. OUTPATIENT DEPARTMENT:
CATEGORY 0-5 YEARS 5 YEARS AND OVER
Male Female Male Female
New attendance 423 409 137 264
Re attendance 04 04 00 04
Total attendance 427 411 137 268
We registered the highest number of Out Patient Attendance (OPD) under five this month in this quarter i.e 838 children were attended to this was contributed by the cooperation of our Village Health Teams (VHTs) and dedicated staff who have helped to improve the relationship between staff and clients. We plan to motivate our VHTs more in order to promote quality service provision. The most common conditions seen in the units this month were RTIs, Acute diarrhoea, malaria, skin conditions. Intense health education about the ways in which we can prevent this disease is what we will carry out in order to reduce the number of children suffering from this condition at the clinic and in our outreaches. All mothers seen at OPD are being encouraged to carry their child health card and we registered a success in this. All children attended to are being weighed.
I bring you much greetings and I am always happy to share with you our stories, our dear friends and partners.
It is the rainy season here in Gulu and the rainy season is always a blessing in many ways, because it means that the farmers will begin to see their crops growing, but for the health team it is a time to brace for the different ailment that the rains bring along. This time around there is also plenty of mangoes, which is good for the children. But we always see the number of diarrhoea case rising because children eat these fruits right from the tree without washing them. The rainy season also brings along a rise in the number of malaria cases. The water puddles that gather around homes provide the right breeding grounds for mosquitoes. In addition to this, with the rains the roads are muddy and wet, but this does not affect the peoples’ spirit to work. The health staffs continue serving the patients that visit the clinics with unwavering hard work.
Many children are brought in with severe malaria. For the health staff they are always on the lookout for these cases because they know how dangerous this can be if a child is not treated immediately. This is what happened to Sheila Anena when she was brought in the clinic on one Monday morning, she could hardly walk. She had a high temperature and was vomiting profusely. Her mother was very worried!. When she was tested for malaria, she was found to be having malaria parasite in her blood. She was given treatment and by the end of the day she was feeling a lot better.
The Karin Clinics see over 80% cases of malaria in children. In the last three months over 906 children tested positive for malaria. For many of these children over 50% of these children are under five years old. Malaria brings a lot of challenges to the family. It means that the child cannot go to school, the mother cannot also work because they have to take care of their sick children.
We are requesting for funds for mosquito nets. We are raising funds to provide 1000 long lasting insecticide treated nets. Please donate generously as your donation will go a long way in preventing malaria and keeping the children healthy and in school.
Our success is due to your untiring support. It is a great partnership and we hope to continue having you by our side.
We have very good news to share with you!
The year 2014 has began with a lot of energy. You may recall that at the end of the year review meetings held in 2013, we agreed to work harder to serve more people in these remote villages. We all acknowledged our achivements and agreed that there was still more that we could do. We are happy that the communities appreciate our work and this is shown when they come back to thank us for the services that we are providing at the health centres and how we are ensuring that adequate drug supply is available for patients that we serve everyday.
In the past months we have made it our priority to ensure that our stock out does not recurr. We keep improving our inventory systems and order time. Donations continue to be used to cover essential drugs in the health centre and to support the vulnerable who cannot afford health care. We ensure that we stock anti malarials, anti biotics, test kits for malaria, thypoid stool, etc. Making sure that our stock always includes children’s medication.
Outreach programmes are ongoing in one health centre and plans are underway to expand our services to other villages. We plan to educate mothers and community members about safe drinking water and sanitation. We also plan to provide drinking water to enable the children have clean drinking and cooking water.
Contaminated water and lack of clean drinking water continue to pose a big problem to many children in the communities, and these are recurring problems in schools and many homes in Gulu, impeding the growth and development of children.
Based on the clinical data and results, skin conditions, intestinal worms, and diarrhoel diseases continue to rank high among children visiting the health centres, contributing to nearly 40% of the cases. It is our plan to encourage mothers to provide clean drinking water as this will play a key role in reducing malnutrition, child mortality and to further improve their quality of life.
Many thanks to everyone for trusting in our project to be the liaison between vulnerable communities who need help. Thank you so much for your generosity.
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