Project: Kamengo medical mission
Start Date: 16/03/2020
In March 2020 I will be heading to Uganda with The Canada Africa Community Health Alliance (CACHA) to be part of a medical mission. CACHA is a non-government organization whose mission is to improve health for rural communities through partnerships to facilitate programs for disease prevention, treatment, care, support, and education.
The main objective of this mission is to see local patients, improve their access to basic health care, and provide good quality treatment and disease prevention methods. Patients from this rural community require treatment for open wounds resulting from accidents, treatment for sexually transmitted infections, etc. and general disease prevention.
Although I am not a medical professional, I am pleased to be able to join this mission to help with logistics, set-up, sorting and distributing medications, and provide support to clinical volunteers and the mission team.
Funds are used for a variety of mission-related expenses, including medical/dental care, medications and medical supplies, lab supplies and logistics support, guides and translation services, etc. Volunteer participation is self-funded. Any contributions would be greatly appreciated and will be put to very good use in support of my contribution to this cause. CACHA is a registered charity and issues tax receipts.
The individuals on these pages are raising funds in support of CACHA’s mission. The funds are given to CACHA to defray the costs of participation in, and supplies for, the mission, and not for the personal benefit of any participant. CACHA retains control over the use of all donated funds. Once the needs for the program have been met, or cannot be completed for any reason, any remaining contributions will be used where needed most.
This will be the 11th Medical Mission to this community and below are the mission objectives.
Patient care: The main objective of this entire mission is to see local patients, improve their access to basic health care, and provide good quality treatment and disease prevention methods. The local partnership on the ground and our large volunteer team will allow us to see and provide treatment to a large number of patients.
Patients from this rural community require treatment for open wounds resulting from accidents, treatment for sexually transmitted infections, etc. We will also work with our local partners to provide basic health-related education to our patients that require it.
Capacity building: Another one of the main objectives is capacity building at Ggoli Health Centre and Nkozi Hospital where minor surgeries are performed. For 10 years we have been working hand in hand with our local clinical officers, assisting with their clinical and procedural skills. We have also focused on training the local nurses to provide ongoing gynecologic care for the women of the community. The nurses have also been trained in more testing modalities, and on HIV care and treatment.
Engagement of local partners: Ggoli Health center has one clinical officer and a number of nurses who work at the center year-round. All of these individuals are valuable members of our clinical team on every mission. They work with us in medicine and gynecology, as well as in testing and pharmacy. The mission cannot be done without this collaboration. The Sister in charge of the health center provides the mission with a local dentist, as well as a laboratory to do testing and HIV counseling. The Sister in charge also does daily and hourly supervision of the entire mission. All health care providers involved work hand and in hand with the Canadian volunteers. The Canadian volunteers also learn a great deal about tropical diseases and treatment of tropical diseases.
For ten years now, it’s very clear that the entire community including the village health team and local leaders have been extremely supportive of our missions. Approximately 30 local community members are hired as translators and liaisons with the patients.
HIV testing and care support: Uganda has a good HIV/AIDS program but unfortunately HIV is now increasing so we will continue encouraging all those that stop by the medical mission to get tested and know their status. Patients are reminder the importance of taking their medication regularly.
Education for Canadians Volunteers and local community: This mission is outstanding for teaching and learning from one another. There are many opportunities for the Canadian volunteers to learn from the locals, and the local volunteers pass on their learnings to their family and friends. Overall, the community benefits from this mission.
GGOLI HEALTH CENTRE The Ggoli Health Centre is a private, not for profit and a non-governmental unit. It was founded in 1985 by Reverand Fr. Joseph Lubega who was the then parish priest of Ggoli parish and the mandate of the center was to offer medical care to the rural population. The health center is under the umbrella of the Uganda Catholic Medical Bureau Director and is a referral clinic for many other local rural health dispensaries. The management is guided by the Spirit of stewardship, shared responsibility, transparency and accountability. The GHC has less than 20 beds with an occupancy rate of 60-80%. Out-patient, in-patient, ophthalmology, HIV care and treatment, dentistry, orthopedics, and maternity is provided at GHC. Typical cases include malaria, pneumonia, UTI, diarrhea, worms, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and baby delivery. Patients for which services cannot be provided are referred to the Nkozi Hospital.
NKOZI HOSPITAL: Nkozi is a private not for profit community hospital, located in rural Mpigi District in central Uganda approximately 15km from Kamengo along the Masaka highway. The Hospital has 100 beds, with a theatre that conducts both minor and major surgeries. The facility is owned by the trustees of Kampala archdiocese and operates 24 hours. The hospital offers preventative, curative and promotive health services both on-site and in outreaches.
It is at this hospital where x-rays and ultrasounds are conducted and minor surgeries are performed. While efforts are made to keep health care costs to a minimum, the cost of receiving health care and medications remains a great obstacle for most people living in the catchment area. Costs are subsidized by the government however funding shortages for the daily operations of the health center are not uncommon. Please visit www.nkozihospital.org for more information about Nkozi Hospital.
Please consider joining this trip to Uganda with CACHA. No doubt this will be rewarding and an amazing two weeks in the community that we have been volunteering in for the last 10 years! In addition to making a difference, you will experience the unique culture of Uganda.
CACHA medical missions consist of international and local clinic officers, physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, midwives, pharmacists, dentists, ophthalmologists, physiotherapists, other health workers and coordinators, and logisticians (non-medical workers). The entire mission is in partnership with our local partners and it is this partnership that allows us to bring much needed medical care to those that need the care.
For up to date travel information, please consult the Government of Canada – Travel Advice and Advisories site: http://travel.gc.ca/destinations/ The World Health Organization has a comprehensive website on the Ebola virus. http://www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/en/