News

Support for Ngora development continues

This year has seen strong support for the proposed Rotary Global Grant to refurbish the maternity facilities at Freda Carr Hospital, Ngora in eastern Uganda. The grant will also include regular visits from the Vocational Training Team which visited this hospital in April for the first time.

As well as many private donations, the following have contributed:
Rotary Club of Cardiff West and Distict 1150    £1000
Harpsden Village Rotary Club and Roundwood Park School   £2000
Rotary Club of Thanet and District 1120   £12,000
Rotary Club of Marlow    £1000
Rotary Club of Reading Matins and District 1090   £17275
Rotary Doctor Bank Great Britain and Ireland    £27,300

We are profoundly grateful for the support we have received from everyone.
Planning for the project in partnership with the Rotary Club of Kampala Central is now in the final stages and submission to The Rotary Foundation for approval is anticipated this autumn.

Rotary Club of Marlow donate £1,000 to Ngora

The Rotary Club of Marlow have donated £1,000 to the Global Grant for refurbishment of the maternity ward at Freda Carr Hospial, Ngora, in Eastern Uganda

Rotary Vocational Training Team visits Freda Carr Hospital, Ngora. April 2017

In April 2017 Rotary District 1090 sent a team of a doctor and two midwives to Freda Carr Hospital, Ngora, to train hospital staff and students at the School of Nursing and Midwifery in lifesaving skills for mothers and babies. This is the first 1090 VTT visit to Ngora which is set to receive ongoing visits as part of a Rotary global grant funded project to improve facilities and services at the hospital.

 

Two new loans for Kitovu Hospital

Two more loans are helping Kitovu Hospital. The Medicaudit Foundation has given support to the scheme which gives staff loans so helping them and improving loyalty and retention.

Rotary Doctor Bank has given a loan to help build a new ward as shown in the picture

January 2017 – Jim McWhirter’s visit

Those of you who have been reading these reports since 2009 will have noticed that they have changed significantly over time. Early reports were full of the emotional impact of seeing human suffering at first hand and the culture shock of coping with the very limited resources available to help.

Inevitably one becomes accustomed to seeing these things and latterly reports have concentrated on our efforts to make longterm improvements. Although improving the efficiency of hospitals is critical to saving the lives of mothers and babies, it doesn’t make such good reading as details of practical work on the hospital wards.

On this, my 15th visit, I have been deeply disturbed once more.
Uganda is a green and pleasant land thanks to two rainy seasons each year following the spring and autumn equinoxes.
Last year the September rains failed with severe consequences for rural subsistence farmers, the community that most of our patients come from and the bulk of the Ugandan population. There are food shortages, increased prices and many are down to one meal a day in the rural areas. In field after field the maize crop has died as shown in the pictures:

Hopefully the rains will come again this spring and set them on the road to recovery but if they don’t, it will be very serious. It is easy to overlook how vulnerable these poor countries south of the Sahara are to changes in climate and how we cannot take well established historical weather patterns for granted.

On the project front we are seeking to repeat the successful programme we implemented at Kamuli in a much poorer setting in Eastern Uganda. We hope to refurbish the maternity ward at Freda Carr Ngora Hospital (pictured above) and send a Vocational Training Team to boost education at the nurse training school, all with the help of a global grant from Rotary. We are receiving strong support from the Rotary Club of Kampala Central and the Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau.

One of the great joys of coming to Uganda is the opportunity to meet the most incredible people. I have previously mentioned the Kamuli anaesthetic officer who works literally 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and Dr Maura Lynch of Kitovu, a nun and surgeon who celebrates 50 years in Africa this year. Both of these are still working in their 70’s. On this trip I met an 80 yr old ophthalmologist who has been 52 yrs in Africa, still works full time and spends two weeks each month travelling all over Uganda taking his surgical skills to remote communities. His name is Keith Waddell of Ruharo hospital and he is photographed with his team on an outreach journey. Between them, these three remarkable people have 151 years of service. I feel I live an incredibly lazy and self indulgent existence!

Author donates £1155

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Ivan Linton of Co Antrim, N Ireland, has very generously donated £1155 being the proceeds from a book he published last year about the area where he lives. We are very grateful for his support.

 

 

 

Jim and Tessa McWhirter were presented with the cheque by Ivan and his wife Florence at an event in Cullybackey hosted by Liz Hoy and Elizabeth Boyd of the Cullybackey Historical Society.

Elizabeth Boyd, Ivan Linton, Tessa McWhirter, Liz Hoy, Jim McWhirter and Florence Linton

Elizabeth Boyd, Ivan Linton, Tessa McWhirter, Liz Hoy, Jim McWhirter and Florence Linton

 

 

July 2016 – Jim McWhirter’s visit

Visit report July 2016

Every visit to Uganda holds surprises, some pleasant, others less so.
The road network has improved dramatically over the past eight years but this is a mixed blessing. On the upside, travel is quicker and more comfortable with less dust and fewer bumps. On the downside, local drivers have a lot to learn about the hazards of high speed travel. IMG_7064When we found ourselves in a major traffic jam following an accident, we took to the side roads (!) to try and get by but unfortunately met others doing the same from the opposite direction! Fortunately my travels were otherwise uneventful apart from paying more for petrol post Brexit.

IMG_7169My first job was to welcome 20 Bristol University medical students and see them on their way to Kitovu and Villa Maria. These hospitals have hosted Bristol students for four years now, providing 50 in total with exceptional learning and unforgettable medial experiences. Next year we hope to extend this programme to Kamuli as well.

One of the main objectives of this visit was to complete the process of setting up the Medicaudit Foundation in Uganda as a fully fledged non-profit organisation. It will partner with Medicaudit Ltd in Uganda and Rotary Doctor Bank in UK and oversee the work of supporting rural hospitals which has been developing so successfully over the past four years. We now support 24 hospitals, 7 clinics and other sites including pharmacies and even a hospital farm!  Your generosity has secured the future of this work which goes from strength to strength.IMG_7119

 

The inaugural meeting was held by the founding members, somewhat informally, over dinner in a cafe in Kampala:

 

A critical element of the Foundation’s work is computer system support and as our network spreads further afield, we have developed ways of providing remote support over the internet to cut down on the need for staff to waste a lot of time travelling. It never ceases to amaze me how we are able to productively and cost effectively use up to the minute technical solutions in a low tech society. But it really does work and our hospitals are constantly improving the care they are able to give patients.
Medicaudit is sponsoring one of its employees, Nicholus Seguya, to undertake further training by doing an MSc in Public Health Informatics at Makerere University, Kampala.

IMG_6525An exciting new project is helping the Rotary Club of Thanet, UK, with their project to improve water supply and sanitation at Soroti Regional Referral Hospital. I visited this incredibly hardworking hospital again and look forward to developments in the coming year

 

imageWhile in the east I visited the Medicaudit project at Ngora. This hospital was a leader in many spheres a long time ago but after a period of decline it is heartwarming to see it recovering. There is huge scope for useful projects here and Medicaudit is closely involved.
Jim McWhirter, July 2016

Bristol medical students arrive in Uganda

 

IMG_6991Bristol University medical school has sent 4th year medical students for SSC study in Uganda each year since 2013. Twenty students and four tutors arrived for a three week stay at Kitovu and Villa Maria hospitals

 

Another volunteer visits Kamuli

Dr Andrea on the Medical Ward
Dr Andrea on the Medical Ward

Dr Andrea Taylor, a volunteer with Rotary Doctor Bank, spent 2 weeks at Kamuli recently using annual leave from her GP partnership in Sevenoaks. Click here to read full details of her visit.

Rotary trains staff at Kamuli again

Practising_newborn_life_support-1024x768Rotary District 1090 has sent a Vocational Training Team (VTT) to Kamuli Mission Hospital for the fifth time. They have trained midwives, nurses and doctors in essential life-saving skills for mothers and babies. Death rates for mothers and babies have fallen significantly since their first visit in 2014.