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 Health  Uganda Project #9919

Provide health care to 25 villages in postwar Gulu

by Karin Community Initiatives Uganda
Provide health care to 25 villages in postwar Gulu
Provide health care to 25 villages in postwar Gulu
Provide health care to 25 villages in postwar Gulu
Provide health care to 25 villages in postwar Gulu
Provide health care to 25 villages in postwar Gulu
Provide health care to 25 villages in postwar Gulu
Provide health care to 25 villages in postwar Gulu
Provide health care to 25 villages in postwar Gulu
Provide health care to 25 villages in postwar Gulu
Provide health care to 25 villages in postwar Gulu
Provide health care to 25 villages in postwar Gulu
Provide health care to 25 villages in postwar Gulu
Provide health care to 25 villages in postwar Gulu
Provide health care to 25 villages in postwar Gulu
Provide health care to 25 villages in postwar Gulu
Provide health care to 25 villages in postwar Gulu
Provide health care to 25 villages in postwar Gulu
football as a means of communication
football as a means of communication

“Sport brings people together, it encourages creativity and also attracts positive energy. It breaks deadlocks and develops natural talents and skills,” said Ocaka, a 17-year-old youth leader, from Unyama village.


Sport does more than this – it draws vulnerable young people to programmes where they can receive critical information and services.  This is particularly important in the Unyama community of Gulu, where many people lack access to health services and information.


The main issue, many youth in the community say, is that it is difficult to access the health system. Some women, for example, even resort to giving birth at home rather than going to health facilities. For the young people, there is lack of information on the best means of accessing healthcare. 


The Karin Medical Centre combines sport and information by working with a local football club in the community to offer information sessions and workshops on a variety of topics, including how to access health services, as well as sexual and reproductive health. For the young girls that are not able to continue with their education due to early pregnancy, the football club encourages them to seek proper health care specifically targeting them and their unborn child. 


A door to engagement

Football attracts young people. And these activities offer their own benefits, such as promoting health and social unity.  The right to play is even recognized in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world.

“The activities that I participate in during the youth sessions boost my self-confidence and perseverance and introduce me to new friends,” Ocaka told the team from Karin Medical Centre.


Karin Medical Centre is using sports as an entry point for spreading critical messages. During their sports sessions, the health team conducts information sessions that offer accurate, non-judgmental information on sexual and reproductive health issues.

Sport can also teach mutual respect, collaboration and conflict resolution – lessons that fit neatly into messages about human rights and peace building.

“It teaches the values of teamwork, fairness, discipline, respect for the opponent and the rules of the game, which can be translated into our everyday lives,” said Moses, the Laboratory Technician at the Karin Medical Staff.

Every month, the Karin team works with the young footballers to reach out to more youth in the community.  So far over 300 youth have been engaged in this network.


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Thank you for your support!


new year
new year

Dear friends,


Greetings and a Happy new year!


Over the last 16 years in stewarding the vision of Karin Community Initiative Uganda, 2017 became a year where many of our dreams and hopes for this organization were tangibly realized and consolidated.


One of those realizations– the increased number of women delivering their babies from the health facilities. Over 50 babies were delivered, the maternity unit stands as a visible record of achievements and a profound piece of KCIU’s mission, in addition to this we provided prenatal and postnatal care to 976 mothers outpatient care to 6350; 496 children completed their immunization, family planning services to 1521 couples; bed nets to over 6000 families, skills training to 53 children and 40 church leaders and teachers and trained many more women groups in the community. 


We credit this impact to several factors, the greatest of which is partners like you. Providing access to much needed health services, transforming lives and equipping them to accomplish their dreams is the foundation of KCIU’s mission. We exist to serve the community with quality health care services.


We not only saw the affirmation of our vision, but also the growth of our organizational capacity to advance our work in the areas we have been called to serve. Thank you for being part of of KCIU as we together, steward this vision. I would love to see us continue this service in this year too. 


I would like to add that with the great achievements we have made in the last year, our programs may not continue, our funding has greatly dwindled and humbly appeal to you for your support.


Please continue telling your friends and network about our work and how they can be part of this organization. I thank you for standing with us for through your generous support.


Thank you in advance for your contributions.


Scovia's story

Dear Friends, I would like to share with you Scovia's story.

Scovia Akello 27, is a peasant farmer in the village of Laliya. She has three children of her own and 4 of her late brother.

Scovia is a member of the farmers group, she joined this group nearly six years ago and they meet monthly at the Karin clinics to discuss how to improve their work and support their families. 

Scovia lost her husband to HIV last year and since then, the whole burden of supporting her family lies solely with her. She is happy to be part of the farmers group because through this group she also gets to receive information about health from the health workers at the Karin clinic. She also takes her children to the Karin clinic.

“I am happy to be part of this group, we are partners with the Karin Community Initiative Uganda. I first came to the clinic to test for HIV and other STIs. We also receive their other services like family planning and cancer screening to people.” Our children also come for services like immunization and malaria treatment.

“The first time I came here I was warmly welcomed. They're very good at talking to the everyone, regardless of your status. Though the place was new for me, I was given service as if it was not my first time.” Says Scovia. “In this community we face several challenges. People around look at you as if you are not a human being and you cant do anything.”

Scovia has since been a regular client of the Karin clinic for HIV testing, cancer screening and other diseases. She says her status exposes her to many risks of infection which has to be regularly checked for.

“I always come here for testing, there is also cancer screening. They don’t segregate me because of my status. They give you the services you need.” 

We value the support that you give us to support people living with HIV/AIDS. We value your continued support and it is for this reason that we ask you to share our global giving page with your contacts and tell them why you decide to donate to us and why they should do the same.

 We also encourage you to sign up for a monthly recurring donation today. 


Thank you for your support!

Rosettes story
Rosettes story

Last week when Rosette came into Agonga health center, she was very ill. She told me that she had been seeking medical attention elsewhere and had tests ran for malaria, PUD (peptic ulcer disease) and also typhoid, which were all positive. I let her know that we will take care of her and that she will feel better soon. Malaria is one of the most frequently treated conditions among patients, with 93% of cases being malaria.  PUD occurs frequently as well, and in the past months we have seen these numbers rise from 3% to 8%. 


She further explained to me that after taking countless medications to treat all of her conditions, not to mention all the money she had spent in order to treat them, her health was still worsening and she was not feeling any better. Rosette then said that she remembered that she had been to Agonga in the past and received help here and decided to return. We immediately assessed her and began proper treatment protocols for each of her ailments. Her case is one of many that occur and it is a relief for community members that quality and effective care can be received when one comes to Karin.


Karin Community Initiatives-Uganda’s health centers are open 24-hours and have staff and resources at the ready to tackle medical issues that may arise among community members. There are several lines of treatment for malaria at the ready and it is through the hard work and dedication of staff that we are able to deliver compassionate, patient-centered care. Most of all it is through the generosity and kindness through donations received by our donors that we have the ability to maintain the resources in order to treat many of the illness mentioned above and beyond. Often many health centers do not have the resources needed to treat individuals and we at Karin are so very thankful and blessed to be able to provide for our patients because of you.


Thank you for all you do!


weighing the baby
weighing the baby

“Carefully slide her in the weighing bag. Be careful as she might cry thinking you are leaving her alone. Babies cry when their mothers leave them, ” Scovia explains to a mother who brought her child for regular immunization and check up.

Scovia is a comprehensive nurse at the Karin Medical Centre, where she does many things including clerking, health education, family planning care to antenatal care.

Scovia is the kind of person who is constantly looking out for others. She frequently asks me how I’m doing and reminds me to change my gloves whenever I’m working in the antenatal clinic. And if I forget to follow through on something, I can always count on Scovia to remind me. She’s kind of like a nagging—albeit compassionate person.

Scovia has been blessed to work in a health centre, as a mother she has not had the challenges that many mothers in this community go through. When she learnt that she was going to be a mother, she sought out the best care for her herself and her baby. She received regular check-ups, made sure all of the necessary preparations were in place weeks before her delivery. She ensured that her baby received all the vaccines needed.  

Although I think it’s safe to say most mothers, regardless of their circumstances, desire the best for their children, Scovia and her baby underscore the value of a thorough education and proper resources when it comes to maternal and newborn health. She made proper research. And between Karin’s assistance and her own awareness, she has had access to optimal care.

But Scovia’s story is not the typical narrative for most people, especially women in Uganda. As Nicholas Christoff writes in his book, Half the Sky, “The equivalent of five jumbo jets’ worth of women die in labor each day……. Overall in sub-Saharan Africa, the lifetime risk of dying in childbirth is 1 in 22. In contrast, in the United States, the lifetime risk is 1 in 4,800.”

And these aren’t just abstract statistics. These are staggering and unacceptable realities for women here, in Uganda, and, more specifically, Gulu.

When I ask Scovia what she views as the biggest obstacles to healthcare in Uganda, she offers a few short and direct explanations:

“Money. It is expensive to deliver babies and expensive to treat for many illnesses” she says. For example delivery alone costs about  90,000 USH (the equivalent of $27, a considerable price for most Ugandans), and up to 1,500,000 USH ($421) or more for Caesarean deliveries. Although government hospitals in Uganda are—in theory—free, nurses or doctors will typically charge their own prices for any services. Many women seek out Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs)—women with no professional training, who employ herbs and other traditional forms of medicine—simply because they’re cheaper.

Another big issue is distance. Many people just don’t have access to proper medical facilities. Or they live extremely far away from the nearest hospital or clinic. As Scovia says, “For expectant mothers they will just go to a TBA because they can’t get transportation or something easy. Some women even deliver right on the road while they are waiting for a motorcycle or taxi ride.” Some will seek the help of a herbalist to treat malaria. 

In addition, the medical personnel at government facilities or hospitals are often unfriendly and rude to patients (that is if they even show up—many staff at these places aren’t required to clock in or out and get paid regardless). And, to some extent, their attitudes are understandable. The hospitals are typically overworked and understaffed. “There are many women in the same room and the hospital doesn’t have the right medications available or clean materials,” Scovia notes, “Sometimes there are 3 midwives for twenty patients.”

All of these discourages women from going to hospitals or clinics for maternal care. But it’s also why the Karin Medical Centres were such crucial developments for Gulu and the surrounding community; the health centers will give the community especially women and children affordable, easily accessible place to deliver their babies and receive treatment. Not to mention, the personalized care, and friendly staff.

In the words of Scovia, “There are no better facilities…they know we will help them.”

Scovia plots the records of the baby weights on the child health card and tells the mother when to return for the next appointment.


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Organization Information

Karin Community Initiatives Uganda

Location: Gulu - Uganda
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Hope Okeny
Gulu, Uganda
$20,058 raised of $94,053 goal
202 donations
$73,995 to go
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