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 Health  Uganda Project #9919

Provide health care to 25 villages in postwar Gulu

by Karin Community Initiatives Uganda
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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
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!

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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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treating malaria
treating malaria

A community-focused approach

 

According to the 2015 Malaria Indicator Survey, Malaria is endemic in approximately 95% of the country, affecting over 90% of the population. The remaining 5% of the country consists of unstable and epidemic-prone transmission. The central north in particular suffered a serious outbreak of malaria in the period for the last one and a half years and this has destabilised the response.

 

For the last five years, the country has intensified actions to bring malaria under control. At the health centre we are ensuring that we are on track in carrying out interventions to control Malaria as we move towards the pre-elimination phase. One of this interventions is the Case Management – Application of the Test, Treat and Track principle, Integrated Community Case Management

 

Though cases of malaria incidences have reduced in the last few months, the Ministry of Health have intensified its bid to eventually eliminate malaria in the region. Long lasting Insecticide Nets (LLIN) that have been provided to our health facilities and through a mass distribution campaign

The campaign, dubbed “Areymo Malaria – Sleep under a Mosquito net” is coined because of the one year epidemic in Northern Uganda . The campaign is intended to reduce the Malaria morbidity and mortality through achieving universal coverage with LLINs. The campaign aims to ensure that 85% of targeted populations have access to a LLIN and 85% of all nets distributed are utilised.

 

“Most households do not use treated mosquito nets,” said George a long time serving community health worker.

When he began as a volunteer in 2008, George saw many cases of malaria, but there was little he could do. With no support for diagnosis or treatment, he could only educate community members about the dangers of malaria and urge those with a fever to seek out care in the nearest health centres many miles away.

That afternoon, George administered a rapid diagnostic test to a young man with fever and explained how to avoid infection. He then gave the family a treated mosquito net. With 21 children of his own, he could speak from experience. Sweat beading on his brow, he focused intently on the process, and then paused for a question from Gloria.

“Am I tired?” he said with a laugh. “Oh no. I will be doing this for many more years. I’m happy because I’m helping my community.”

 

George and other community health workers are trained, but they’re supervised by local health facility. Close collaboration with these groups has been a key to “Aryemo Malaria’s” success, particularly in faraway places like Cetkana village.

“Many of the communities we serve are very hard to reach,” said Clinical Officer Gloria, the incharge of Karin Medical Centre, Unyama. “And if you aren’t well known, it can be difficult to mobilize the people.”

This in itself, she says, may be the health centre’s greatest achievement of all.

“As soon as you say Karin, people come. They know us, and they know how we work—that the health centre belongs to them.”—Gloria

 

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Going to clinic
Going to clinic

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mother
mother

Improving Children's Health through eduction

 

Nurse, Winnie teaches children about good hygiene.  Diarrhea is one of the biggest killers of children under the age of five. Though it may not always lead to death, often times children spend long periods away from school thereby affecting their performance in school.

 

Rose one of the parents explains to Winnie. “As a mother I know the pain you go through when your child is lying in bed sick instead of going to school. She is unable to play with her friends because she is very weak.”  And yet according to Winnie, many of these illnesses can be prevented through basic hygiene and sanitation practices. She says that its one of the goals of the clinic to regularly teach children with good hygiene practices with the aim of improving their health in their communities.

 

We base our health education on three principles to keep the germs away.  Wash your hands. Use clean, safe and uncontaminated water. Use clean latrines.

 

We ensure that we pass these messages to schools because we realize that young children are most vulnerable to illness related to uncontaminated water or poor hygiene practices. They are also quick to learn when we show them what to do.

 

At the clinic children who are brought sick with diarrhea are treated with ORS and Zinc.

ORS is the cornerstone of diarrhea treatment in low resource settings.  Sugar, water, salt- this simple mixture has saved millions of lives and costs just a few pennies. It is easy to prepare and administer at home. These items are also readily available in the rural communities. ORS empowers parents with the first line of treatment for children suffering from diarrhea.  

At the Karin clinics the nurses treatment with education, giving mothers immediate access to ORS and clean water while teaching them about hygiene, breastfeeding and nutrition.  

We are always grateful  for the support and urge you to continue supporting these vulnerable children.

 

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Support us this time during this time, there is 5 days to go. There is over £6,500 left and Globalgiving will match all donations up to £50 by 50%. Yes, 50% (plus any Gift Aid on UK eligible donations), do not miss out!

 

Thank you for your support!

 

 

 

 

 

baby taking ORS at the clinic
baby taking ORS at the clinic

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ill child
ill child

With the availability of good services, Karin Medical Services, has had a tremendous improvement in health services delivery and an influx of patients especially young children. Among the common health problems identified in the clinic is the concept of false tooth, its presentation and the management practices.

False teeth among children are a Public Health problem which has not received adequate attention in Uganda. False teeth are a common problem among children mainly affecting children of two years old with no sex differences. It is believed to be caused by witchcraft and at times it comes on its own. This disease causes diarrhea, Acute Respiratory infection (ARI), fever and loss of appetite, restlessness and vomiting which are also believed to be key signs and symptoms for the disease. It seems there are no home remedies for the treatment of false teeth. “Oral/dental surgery” is mostly used as the common form of treatment of “false teeth and rubbing of teeth. 

For Apio, this was the case with her 8 months old baby. She was told that her child was suffering from false teeth. Her baby had been suffering from diarrhoea for the last one week, she had lost weight and was no longer taking breast milk. She spent sleepless nights worrying about her child, until one day her neighbour told her to visit the local herbalist. The local herbalist rubbed some herbs on the baby’s gum and using a sharp instrument removed something which looked white, and she was told that this was the cause of the baby pain. He assured her that the baby will be well. With a bit of relief, Apio left for home, however, her child was in such great pain and cried all day. Unable to bear this Apio, decided to visit the Karin Medical Centre, she explained to the clinical officer the condition of her child and her visit to the local herbalist.   

“In this community the knowledge about “false teeth” treatment is quite rife, with many mothers resorting to home remedies for the treatment of false teeth and rubbing of teeth. One of the greatest challenges of this practice is that the herbalist do not sterilise their instruments and no anesthesia of any kind is given to the children”, noted the Clinical officer of the Karin Medical Centre. The clinical officer, noticed the bleeding in the child and provided the necessary treatment. 

False teeth are still a community Oral Health problem among children which needs emergency action especially in this era of AIDS/HIV. The community needs more understanding on the issue of false teeth. 

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Organization Information

Karin Community Initiatives Uganda

Location: Gulu - Uganda
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Hope Okeny
Gulu, Uganda
$25,130 raised of $94,053 goal
 
217 donations
$68,923 to go
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