After 3 years of relentless efforts, on June 29th, RRHS and the surrounding communities gathered to celebrate the official opening of its rural health clinic. Hooray!! The joy and pride of such an achievement was immeasurable and shined clearly through everyone's faces.
Over 70 people gathered to commemorate this momentous day. But festivities were not the only items on the agenda. Health services. The local nurse wasted no time and provided 20 women their first antenatal exam on that opening day!
Ms. Meresi, an 8-month pregnant soon-to-be mother, shared how her normal routine (at least for her previous 4 children) was to wait until delivery time to get that much needed health exam. The 3-hour walk for her was just too exhausting. “I decided to keep at home till I deliver because it becomes tiresome walking long distances time and again to go for antenatal checkup," shared Ms. Meresi.
Now, women like her, no longer have to walk 3 hours just to get an antenatal exam or to deliver their babies. In fact, since the opening of the clinic less than a month ago, 35 women have received antenatal exams and four babies have been successfully delivered!
These achievements have been made possible because of the $295 fundraised so far on globalgiving; the $550 donation fundraised by the RRHS Board; equipment donations from Direct Relief International, and of course, all the sweat and hard work put in by the community members!
Yet, despite these achievements, RRHS and the five villages the clinic serves still have a long way to go.
Kiima Charles, the Executive Director of RRHS, shared that more funding is needed for the following critical items:
Every little bit can help. We are asking that you please take the following action:
a) Please help us spread the word and forward this project to your family and friends.
b) Make a small donation. Even $20 can help save many lives!
Thank you so much for your continual support!
FCDE and RRHS staff
On behalf of our partners at Rwenzori Rural Health Services (RRHS), we want to sincerely thank each of you for helping RRHS advance one-step closer towards their dream of opening a rural health clinic.
Once the clinic is in full operation, 5 rural villages totaling around 3500 lives will be touched.
Imagine a pregnant woman having to walk 3 hours just for a prenatal check-up. Or worse, imagine a delivery complication, where every second counts. What if we can reduce 3 hours to just 30 minutes? That, is the reason and urgency for the creation of this health clinic.
In February, with the donations RRHS has received thus far, volunteers from RRHS and nearby communities began the flooring work. For 6 hours, the whole community came together, working tirelessly to advance the construction of the health clinic.
In addition to the completion of the clinic floor, RRHS is in the process of receiving equipment donation from another one of its international development partners- Direct Relief International. Thank you DRI!
With the flooring completed and basic medical equipment such as microscopes and thermometers on its way, RRHS is ready to officially open the health clinic. And guess what? That big day is literally just around the corner - May 15th - less than a month away!
Stay tuned for our next report; in the mean time, take a look at the new clinic floor photos below!
Thank you all again for your support!
FCDE & RRHS team
RRHS continues to work towards building a health center that will be a great benefit to the Kabughabugha village. While they continue to look for avenues to acquire funding, RRHS has indicated the current construction needs of the health center and how they will move forward. Firstly, the floor is in need of being created before the health center can open. Covering the dirt floor with cemement will be an important way to keep the center sanitary by reducing the amount of dust in the facility.
Currently, the latrines are being used by the whole community. RRHS decided that the health center needs to construct their own latrine for the health center to increase sanitation, while also continuing to provide latrines for the community. RRHS is hopeful for the future construction of the health center and the benefits they will bring the community.
RRHS continues to participate in community sensitizations on a variety of health topics in the village. The outreaches are told in the local language of Lhukonzo to ensure the community members understand the information provided. Foundation for Community Development and Empowerment (FCDE) has rewarded RRHS a grant to pursue a community project that teaches RUMPS (re-usable menstural pads) to school children. The project will show girls how to make these pads as a way to save money (pads are very costly and often unavailable in rural villages). By having re-usable mentrural pads, girls are less likely to miss school because of their period, which encourages academic achievement.
Rwenzori Rural Health Services sincerely thanks everyone who has contributed and supported their community efforts, and hope through continued support, the dream of a fully finctional health center in the rural village will become a reality.
RRHS continues to diligently work towards it's goal of establishing a health clinic to provide services for those in rural areas with little or no access to health care otherwise. While still in the finishing stages of construction, RRHS has recently gotten a solar lighting system that will help provide necessary lighting. RRHS also has put solar lighting outside of the facility in order to provide security to families living next to the health center. Executive Director Charles Thembo is very excited about the lighting in the health center and continues to work to make improvements to the facility.
RRHS continues to be active in the community by providing community sensitization on a variety of topics. Recently, RRHS went into the community to provide education on breast feedings and preventing mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS. The community members were very active and had lots of questions to ask.
Recently, RRHS took a volunteer into the villages were they built rain water tanks. RRHS has built 54 tanks to date, with the hope of building more. We traveled deep into the village where people have little access to water. The mostsignificant of these stories was at New Hope Nursery and Primary School.
New Hope Nursery and Primary School is located in the rural Kiibolhu village. The school has approximately 150 students aged up to 15 years old. The school was built as a way to keep families together, as there is no other school in the area. Located in the mountains, there is no water source nearby, causing students, staff, and community members to walk over a mile to the nearest water source. Students were required to go fetchwater on a rotating scale, missing out on their class in order to get water for the school to use. Community members can also access this water to use for cooking and bathing.
Cosmas, a 13 year old student of New Hope says: “Before, we would come to school early waiting to learn. When we are asked to fetch water for the school, I would miss class while others were learning. I am no longer missing class work and I am understanding more.”
Since the water tank was built, there has been an increase in class attendance, and a decrease in illness. Classrooms are able to be washed regularly, and there are hand washing facilities on the school grounds. Before the tank, there was an issue with jiggers (small mites that enter the body through the skin, causing skin irritation, dermatitis, and sometimes transmit scrub typhus), but since the tank was built, this has no longer become an issue.
RRHS continues to do great work in the community, with the establishment of the health center being their largest accomplishment. RRHS thanks all those who have helped them in their part efforts, and hopes to inspire many to help their current and future endeavors to improve their community.
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