Young mothers still face health education barriers!
By Mugisha Leonard | Project Leader
Mothers at Unyama receiving health education
Worldwide, many newborns die in the first month of life, with most deaths happening in low/middle-income countries including Uganda. Families’ use of evidence-based newborn care practices in the home and timely care-seeking for illness can save newborn lives. Postnatal education is an important investment to improve families’ use of evidence-based newborn care practices, yet there are gaps in the literature on postnatal education programmes that have been evaluated to date.
In remote communities like Unyama and Agonga in which we operate, postnatal education programmes for parents have been shown to reduce newborn illness and death by improving hygienic umbilical cord care, breastfeeding and appropriate nutritional intake. However, our clinics in Gulu are still short of the necessary tools and equipment to ensure that such programs run smoothly. The small tent at Unyama health facility can no longer accommodate the big number of mothers in their sessions. Printing educational brochures on a weekly basis has also become costly.
We are grateful to you our partner for trusting in KCIU and sacrificing alot for the betterment of health for the mothers in the community. We encourage you to keep supporting our project and if you can, please send in a donation.
This month we’re celebrating the extraordinary men in our community and honoring resilient men in our community who every day with great strength and desire, are improving their own lives and the lives of those around them.
One of those men is Logir, a father in Bungatira village, Northern Uganda, whose son fell gravely ill one evening. In that desperate moment, he realized that he didn’t have the cash to pay for the ride to the health center. His neighbor, hearing him cry out in despair, loaned him the money, and Logir was able to get his son to our Agonga health centre in time to save his life. The next day, our health workers noticed that Mr.Logir was in dire distress, and looked sad all the time.
Upon further interview by the clinician on duty, it was revealed that his problems were far from over. Over the course of days that followed, our health workers kept talking to him, encouraging him and after a few days this is what he had to say. “I’m 46 years old and married to two wives and I have 13 children. My second wife is pregnant with my 14th child. I have a difficult time because of this big family. Providing food, school fees, and caring for everyone is a permanent worry for me. I don’t even know where to get money to pay back my loan. At one time, it got so bad that I looked for a way out of the situation, and even contemplated abandoning my children or committing suicide.”
He continued, “hope came in at a training on family planning at the resource center in the facility that afternoon, which the health worker notified me about and highly encouraged me to attend. At the training, I learned that there are many ways to limit and plan for birth, depending on a couple’s choice. Thank God all my fears I had on family planning were answered. That’s why I would like to thank KCIU for helping me solve my problems and restoring my will to live.”
In our community, chronic poverty, repeated economic and environmental shocks, and poor health—includi ng lack of access to and use of modern contraceptives—contribute to recurring cycles of crisis. At KCIU, we are committed to change that by ensuring that our community gets access to basic health care including the right information on contraception. However, we can't do this a lone and that's why we need you! If you can, a small donation will facilitate a community health worker to carry out family planning lessons at our health facility!
Malaria crisis:The need to strengthen lab services
By Mugisha Leonard | Project Leader
Agape battling Malaria at Agonga health facility
Despite several interventions by the government and other stakeholders to combat malaria in the Acholi sub region, the number of people reporting at our medical facilities with the disease continues to go up.
At Agonga Health facility in Gulu district, medical workers have expressed their concerns about the upsurge in malaria infections especially among children. The in-charge of the facility, Mr. Isaac Newton, said malaria is the leading diagnosed disease at Agonga facility. "Up to 50% of our treatments here are malaria infections and this is especially among children" Isaac noted. Mr. Robert, who works as a lab technician at Unyama facility said approximately 50% of his lab tests among children come out positive with malaria. It's also worrying to discover that when Karin carried out outreaches in remote communities, malaria cases accounted for 40%. "Within an hour the Coartem which we were prescribing to malaria patients freely was finished" said Mr. Ronnie, a nurse at Agonga facility during the outreach.
This clearly affirms our dire need for a well equipped laboratory. With ongoing works at Unyama facility already in the painting stage, we are hopeful that once completed, we shall be able to handle hundreds of samples at a go as well as carry out early diagnosis for numerous NCDs.
We send special regards to our partners who are sacrificing much to have our community access basic health care, education and safe drinking water. This year we plan to reach out to many families and impact more women and children. We encourage you to keep us in your prayers and if you can make a donation.
Ronnie and team carrying out medical outreach
Laboratory under construction at Unyama facility
Malaria sensitisation during vaccination at Agonga
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