Health
 Uganda
Project #9919

Provide health care to 15 villages in postwar Gulu

by Karin Community Initiatives Uganda
Vetted
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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Please help us to continue to provide quality health services, by becoming a regular donor of this critical work, or making another one off donation.  Thank you for your support.  It really makes a great difference!

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testing
testing

As we celebrate World Malaria Day I reflect on what we have done to prevent malaria and the challenges parents go through.

 

I met her in the clinic when she brought her five weeks old baby. Neatly wrapped in a yellow sheet. Her first baby, it broke her heart to see the baby in pain. "He not breastfeeding well," she said, in a low tone. I could see the pain in her face. As we got talking she shared with me how much she loved her baby and that when it came to naming him. She searched for the best names until she settled for Lagum, meaning "the lucky one". 

 

I have had the honour to lead this organisation, and as a public health specialist, part of my work involves training volunteers and staff to reduce the disease burden- to fight malaria in the communities.  As I watched the staff working with the patients, I am proud to see the impact we have contributed in fighting this disease.

 

Last year's malaria epidemic in the region has made me think less and less about the children saved and more and more about the children that still need to be saved. Last year 162 people died of malaria in various health facilities in Northern Uganda and 22,873 case were registered. Sadly, most of those were children under 5 years old. To me, these numbers are so disturbing. However, I am still grateful that we manage to reduce the malaria mortality. 

 

Over the years we have spent much time working in preventing malaria, however, to me the most painful part is witnessing death in children.  The memories of one particularly has remained etched in my mind till this day.  

 

As a mother these memories have remained row. I keep thinking of the mother whose child had severe malaria, he was convulsing when they brought him in the clinic. With her hands over her head, her face was full of fear. She could hardly explain the child's' condition. I know the trouble she is going through as I have also nursed my own children. 

 

In the years we have worked in this community, we have touched the lives of thousands with malaria prevention efforts.  In our small ways we have lent a small but humble hand to the national scale bed net distribution campaigns. We have walked in the villages and tied up the bed nets for those that could not do it themselves. We go back and check that they are still using these bed nets or they need new ones.

 

We touch the communities everyday in ways big and small. In the villages we converse with the ladies and share with them simple ideas of how to reduce the breeding of mosquitos around their homes. We advice them on what to do once they feel sick. Its these simple conversations that make a difference in people lives.

 

For now I will continue working at teaching on the prevention of this disease. I will continue talking about what they should do to prevent from being bitten by the mosquitoes. I am thankful that with the tools we have managed to keep children safe under the bed nets at night with the insect treated mosquito nets, that the staff providing good and coordinated treatment that involves all the line health workers.

 

Malaria is real and yet its preventable. I thank you for what you have done so far in ensuring that we have the medicines to test and treat for malaria. The struggle is not yet over untit we eradicate malaria completely. It is possible.

 

Can you support this cause, please tell your friends.

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Health workers
Health workers

Dear friends this week is the world health workers week. 

We share with you some experiences of some of our health workers.

We were at Agung village, for an outreach when I got a phone call from the incharge Nurse Scovia, that I needed to return to the clinic to attend to an emergency.  We had already seen many clients and was told by the village Health volunteer that a group of people were on their way for treatment. 

She said it was a four year old girl. “ You should go, David,” my colleague said, voicing my thoughts.

So I quickly hoped onto a motorcycle (boda boda) and when I arrived, the young girl was already receiving the treatment we had to offer. We went outside to speak to the uncharge about her differential diagnosis, and plans to transfer her to another health centre once she stabilises. But while we spoke, I racked my brain to find something, anything that could help this poor child. But I knew that only one thing could save this little girl - prayers.

I approached the mother. I told her that her child was going to be well, because we are doing all that we could. I asked her if I could pray for her and her child. We held hands and went to our Father in prayer.

For a district that suffered many years of war, the region still grapples with social and economic challenges like child illness, illiteracy as well as unemployment. The problem of the chronic shortage of trained professional staff in the Karin healthcare facilities is still high.  This is the same case in the rest of the region and country. Only 38% of healthcare posts are filled in Uganda.  Those healthcare staff who are working, have little incentive to work in poor rural areas like Unyama. Some 70% of Ugandan doctors and 40% of nurses and midwives are based in urban areas, serving only 12% of the Ugandan population.

As I look at how far the Lord has brought us and the experiences and memories in Karin, I know I should not just take the case of this little girl lightly.  She was able to get medical help immediately when she arrived. This was not the case many years ago because of the civil war. 

It is again times like this that I am so thankful for where the Lord has placed me. Saving lives! Nursing has drawn me to do good and gain new skills. I have gained a lot of competence since I joined Karin Medical Centre, because through my times here, I find myself participating and relating to my patients and co-workers with humility and (I hope) patience. What I have realised is that we may not know this but we have a vocation. We have answered to the Lord’s call. 

Without the dedication and commitment of the health workers in this community, our goal to end preventable child and maternal death would be impossible.

Yet again, our work and partnership with you is just as valuable.

We thank you for all the support that you give to make our work easier.

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sick children
sick children

Dear Friends,

Our mission is simple- transforming lives, healing the community in a Christ-like way through the provision of quality healthcare services. We are convinced this can be done by meeting the desperate emergency nutritional and medical needs of hurting and suffering children, providing medical supplies and grants and educating families on health and nutrition.

The Children’s emergency fund is established on the belief that each person can make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged at risk children.  Our strength lies in our integrated programs that help develop and improve the quality of life for the needy and their families.

Villages in the areas around our medical clinics have no access to power or running water, and most people live on less than $1 a day.  Major communicable diseases such as malaria, measles, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and typhoid run rife through these remote communities. 

As a result, we provide a wide spectrum of curative and preventative health services to communities bereft of any other formal health care facilities.  Generally speaking, our health services can be broken down into 6 main areas:

  1. Outpatient services;
  2. Antenatal services;
  3. Family planning;
  4. Immunizations;
  5. Laboratory services; and
  6. Village Outreach services.

These services provide the critical ‘front line’ of health services in the community, where many people come from distances up to 20km away to receive medical attention. In particular, our Village Outreach services provide mobile health services to all villages in our area. This serves to educate the community in preventative health measures, and provide curative services to those who are unable/have not yet come to our health facilities.

We are asking you to sign in the Children Emergency Fund and support these vulnerable children. Share our Globalpage with your contacts and tell them why you decided to donate to us and why they should do the same.

Please help us to save children, by becoming a regular donor of this critical work, or making another one off donation.  Thank you for your support.  It really makes a great difference!

Hey, Can you do more? Consider signing up for a monthly recurring donation today. Thank you for your support!

Measles campaign
Measles campaign

Dear friends,

Once agin I share with you about another worthy cause in the work we do here in Gulu, Uganda.

The recently concluded mass measles vaccination campaign went for three days with an ambitious plan to vaccinate upto 95% for all children between 0 to 5 years old. Measles is a highly infectious vaccine preventable disease that manifests itself with fever, generalized skin rash lasting a minimum of 3 days, red eyes, red lips and sores in the moth, cough and a runny nose. 1.5 million children die each year from preventable diseases. Globally, 1 in 5 children – nearly 22 million- go without vital immunisations that could protect their health and lives.

Nurse Ivy together with nurse Odong from a nearby government health centre were amongst the many health workers who were selected and oriented to carry out this exercise. They set out from the health facility to the most remote area in the district as assigned by the district health office to setup a health post from which they will carry out the vaccination. They arrived at a small village where over 200 women are working in a stone quarry breaking stones.

Achen knew about the importance of immunisation because of the village health team volunteer, Agnes’ effort in mobilising the community. “When I had my first two children, I never knew about this need,” Achen said. “Once I learned about the benefits, I knew I had to do whatever I could to bring my baby for vaccination.” Achen had to walk for three miles to get to the health post set up for this immunisation exercise. But for many parents in the region, finding a clinic is no guarantee of immunisation. Many facilities run low on supplies and do not know when the batch arrives. They are often hampered by power for refrigerators necessary to store the perishable vaccines. As for Achen she made sure that she informed her next door neighbours about the importance of vaccinating their babies. Although the turnout was low in the morning by midday more mothers brought in their children, thanks to the good work the team mobiliser, Agnes had done throughout the week. She walked around the village informing mothers to bring in their children for this vaccination exercise. And they responded well and by the end of the three day exercise, over 300 children had been vaccinated.

We are asking you for your support. Share our Globalpage with your contacts and tell them why you decided to donate to us and why they should do the same. Please help us to save children, by becoming a regular donor of this critical work, or making another one off donation.

Thank you for your support. It really makes a great difference! Hey, Can you do more? Consider signing up for a monthly recurring donation today. Thank you for your support!

measles campaign2
measles campaign2

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Organization Information

Karin Community Initiatives Uganda

Location: Gulu - Uganda
Website: http:/​/​www.karincommunity.org
Project Leader:
Hope Okeny
Gulu, Uganda
$12,587 raised of $25,394 goal
 
 
145 donations
$12,807 to go
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