Aug 20, 2013

Kristina Health Center Expansion On Schedule

Kristina HC patient ward construction and staff
Kristina HC patient ward construction and staff

Excitement builds in the village of Awake in Northern Uganda as the Kristina Health Center (KHC) patient ward building nears completion. Built by a team of 19 local Ugandan workers in a period of four months, the building exterior is complete. Jimmy Okullo, AUCF Operations Manager, and brother of foundation founder Julius Achon reports villagers travel for miles - simply to see the new construction. The ward becomes the third building on the KHC campus, along with a 10 room clinic and staff living quarters for the five person medical staff. Once opened in October, the 18 bed patient ward will allow an expansion of the medical services offered to the community. Patients, some of whom travel 10+ miles for treatment, will, if needed, have a bed to sleep, and overnight medical care and medicines including intra-venous fluids and drugs. Currently patients requiring an overnight stay sleep in the clinic lobby or are taken in by local villagers.

The expansion of patients services afforded by the patient ward is expected to significantly increase the number of patients treated at Kristina Health Center. Currently, an average of 400 patients are seen and treated monthly. I spoke to Emmanuel Achar, senior medical officer, who enthusiastically explained how the ward will allow multi-day treatment for patients requiring a series of injections or simply a place to sleep for patients too weak to return home after treatment. He vividly recalled a four month old baby with pneumonia requiring an overnight stay for a series of antibiotic injections and the baby and mother sleeping on a makeshift cot on the clinic lobby floor. "Care will improve as well as a reduction in patient suffering. You have no idea how the dignity of a patient improves by providing a clean bed to sleep."

The ward is the first of two buildings planned for the KHC campus. Once the ward is completed and adequate funds raised, a second staff living quarters will be built to accomodate an expanded medical staff - both local and visiting from the USA and elsewhere. Since the health center is a difficult 42 miles from the nearest town Lira, on-site staff accomodation is a necessity.

The Awake villagers, Kristina HC staff and all of us at Achon Uganda Children's Fund greatly appreciate the generous ongoing support provided by you our donors. With your help, the villagers of Awake and beyond can now access health care when needed.

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May 28, 2013

Kristina Health Center Phase II Expansion

Kristina Health Center Phase II Underway
Kristina Health Center Phase II Underway

Patients line up early each morning at Kristina Health Center (KHC) in Awake village, Uganda. Since opening its doors October 1, 2012, over 3,000 patients have received medical treatment and the response from the community has been heartwarming - yet vital unmet patient needs remain. In response, Achon Uganda Children’s Fund is pleased to announce Kristina Health Center Phase II, which includes an expansion of both the site and the health center's ability to serve the surrounding population. Phase II will add a medical ward building and a second staff living quarters. An adjacent plot of land has been secured providing ample space for expansion.

An average of 500 patients are treated monthly at KHC. Many of these patients travel several kilometers, all by foot or bicycle, for treatment. A number require over night observation and/or multi-day treatment regimens including administration of IV medication, and recuperation, before they can return home or be transferred to Lira Regional Hospital. Currently, makeshift accommodations are provided; two of the clinic rooms as well as the lobby have been pressed into service and local villager's huts are used, as well, to house patients overnight. KHC Phase II will add an 18 bed medical ward to accommodate such patient needs. Additional staff will be hired to manage this expansion of services.

Phase II will also include construction of a second living quarters for additional permanent staff and visiting medical volunteers. KHC is 42 miles (1-1.5 hours depending upon the roads) from the nearest town, Lira. As a result it is impractical for medical staff and volunteers to commute daily from Lira to KHC and back for an extended period of time. Visiting medical volunteers will supplement the care provided by permanent staff and offer specialized services such as dentistry, and other medical specialties. In addition, visiting and resident staff will share best practices. The volunteer program is of increasing importance since, for the past 30 months, there has been no physician in Otuke District, with a population of 100,000+ people, where KHC is located. Currently, any patient requiring advanced medical care must travel to Lira Regional Hospital in order to see a physician - and the hospital is severely understaffed.

Thanks to the generosity of GlobalGiving donors and others, half of the $195,000 required to complete Phase II has been raised. We ask for your continued support for the people of Awake village and Northern Uganda. As Julius likes to say “a $1.00 donation will buy 10 bricks to help build our health center; a little goes a long way in Uganda”.

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Feb 25, 2013

Report From Kristina Health Center

Julius with baby treated for pneumonia at Kristina
Julius with baby treated for pneumonia at Kristina

Dear Global Giving Friends

I am writing to you from Lira, Uganda as Julius and I arrived two weeks ago. We are spending this week at Kristina Health Center in Awake village and spent last week with many of the 37 orphan children supported by Achon Uganda Children's Fund (AUCF). Thank you, once again, for your generous donations to AUCF. Spending time at the health center and with the kids reinforces the importance of the work we are doing and the positive impact of your donation. 

Julius and I first visited Kristina Health Center a week ago Tuesday and have returned four times since. The health center is booming - 610 patients seen in January. A line of patients formed early Tuesday morning at the center - mothers with their children, young and old men but mostly women - about 20 people. They have all walked here - anywhere from 400 meters to 10 kilometers as explained to me by clinical office, Achar Emmanuel, who I shadowed for the day. The patients and those accompanying them waited patiently on the veranda, in the shade, outside the clinic (see photo). Emmanuel told me with a smile what he hears over and over from the villagers, "we are so grateful to have local healthcare for the first time in the history of Awake, this clinic brings new hope to our village and villages beyond". Three consultation rooms and the laboratory were busy the entire day with the three clinical staff and laboratory technician treating patients; the pharmacy distributing medicines. I could see and feel a sense of pride among the staff as I watched them treat patients.

Julius mixed comfortably with all of the patients and staff; he is a celebrity in the village but is 100% just a humble man helping his people. It is easy to find Julius in the crowd; he is where the people are invariably laughing. The people love him.

In the evening, Julius and I, Julius' brother Jimmy (who manages AUCF in Uganda), Julius' father Charles who lives next to the clinic and is a village elder, and the clinic staff of five met to discuss future plans for Kristina Health Center. We have a number of challenges; I equate it to a small business that is growing rapidly and reminds me of my business days in the medical device industry.  The number of patients has grown month by month, the clinic and staff are busy from dawn to dusk; there is a need for an ambulance to transport serious patients to Lira Regional Hospital (42 miles away); we are planning to expand the staff and begin a phase II facility plan adding additional staff housing and a patient ward as many patients travel several miles for treatment and cannot return home the same day. In addition, patients require extended observation and/or multi-day treatment. 

All in all, Kristina Health Center has exceeded our expectations during its initial five months of operation. The staff is professional and extremely patient focused, the community has embraced the facility and, most importantly, local healthcare is a reality in Awake village.

 

 

am writing to you from Lira, Uganda as Julius and I arrived two weeks ago. We are spending this week at Kristina Health Center in Awake village and spent last week with many of the 37 orphan children supported by Achon Uganda Children's Fund (AUCF). Thank you, once again, for your monthly $20 donation to AUCF. Spending time at the health center and with the kids reinforces the importance of the work we are doing and the positive impact of your donation. 

Julius and I first visited Kristina Health Center a
I am writing to you from Lira, Uganda as Julius and I arrived two weeks ago. We are spending this week at Kristina Health Center in Awake village and spent last week with many of the 37 orphan children supported by Achon Uganda Children's Fund (AUCF). Thank you, once again, for your monthly $20 donation to AUCF. Spending time at the health center and with the kids reinforces the importance of the work we are doing and the positive impact of your donation. 

Julius and I first visited Kristina Health Center a week ago Tuesday and have returned four times since. The health center is booming - 610 patients seen in January. A line of patients formed early Tuesday morning at the center - mothers with their children, young and old men but mostly women - about 20 people. They have all walked here - anywhere from 400 meters to 10 kilometers as explained to me by clinical office, Achar Emmanuel, who I shadowed for the day. The patients and those accompanying them waited patiently on the veranda, in the shade, outside the clinic (see photo). Emmanuel told me with a smile what he hears over and over from the villagers, "we are so grateful to have local healthcare for the first time in the history of Awake, this clinic brings new hope to our village and villages beyond". Three consultation rooms and the laboratory were busy the entire day with the three clinical staff and laboratory technician treating patients; the pharmacy distributing medicines. I could see and feel a sense of pride among the staff as I (the muzungu - white person) watched them treat patients.

Julius mixed comfortably with all of the patients and staff; he is a celebrity in the village but is 100% just a humble man helping his people. It is easy to find Julius in the crowd, he is where the people are invariably laughing. The people love him.

In the evening, Julius and I, Julius' brother Jimmy (as you remember he manages AUCF in Uganda), Julius' father Charles who lives next to the clinic and is a village elder, and the clinic staff of five met to discuss future plans for Kristina Health Center. We have a number of challenges; I equate it to a small business which is growing rapidly and reminds me of my business days in the medical device industry.  The number of patients has grown month by month, the clinic and staff are busy from dawn to dusk; there is a need for an ambulance to transport serious patients to Lira Regional Hospital (42 miles away); we are planning to expand the staff and begin a phase II facility plan adding additional staff housing and a patient ward as many patients travel several miles for treatment and cannot return home the same day. In addition, patients require extended observation and/or multi-day treatment. 
Must sign off, but thank you again,

ago Tuesday and have returned four times since. The health center is booming - 610 patients seen in January. A line of patients formed early Tuesday morning at the center - mothers with their children, young and old men but mostly women - about 20 people. They have all walked here - anywhere from 400 meters to 10 kilometers as explained to me by clinical office, Achar Emmanuel, who I shadowed for the day. The patients and those accompanying them waited patiently on the veranda, in the shade, outside the clinic (see photo). Emmanuel told me with a smile what he hears over and over from the villagers, "we are so grateful to have local healthcare for the first time in the history of Awake, this clinic brings new hope to our village and villages beyond". Three consultation rooms and the laboratory were busy the entire day with the three clinical staff and laboratory technician treating patients; the pharmacy distributing medicines. I could see and feel a sense of pride among the staff as I (the muzungu - white person) watched them treat patients.

Julius mixed comfortably with all of the patients and staff; he is a celebrity in the village but is 100% just a humble man helping his people. It is easy to find Julius in the crowd, he is where the people are invariably laughing. The people love him.

In the evening, Julius and I, Julius' brother Jimmy (as you remember he manages AUCF in Uganda), Julius' father Charles who lives next to the clinic and is a village elder, and the clinic staff of five met to discuss future plans for Kristina Health Center. We have a number of challenges; I equate it to a small business which is growing rapidly and reminds me of my business days in the medical device industry.  The number of patients has grown month by month, the clinic and staff are busy from dawn to dusk; there is a need for an ambulance to transport serious patients to Lira Regional Hospital (42 miles away); we are planning to expand the staff and begin a phase II facility plan adding additional staff housing and a patient ward as many patients travel several miles for treatment and cannot return home the same day. In addition, patients require extended observation and/or multi-day treatment. 
Must sign off, but thank you again

Links:

 
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