The main purpose of this visit to Uganda has been to check on progress of the building work going on at the Freda Carr Hospital at Ngora funded by a Rotary Global Grant.
We are refurbishing the maternity ward and the operating theatre and constructing a walkway between them so that mothers can be wheeled on a trolley in comfort before and after caesarean section. In addition we are erecting a new water supply tank to replace the present one, as its foundations are giving way.
The pictures below illustrate the buildings’ condition before we started work last August and the current state now:
Work is expected to finish in the next couple of months. The project also includes equipping the wards internally and sending regular vocational training teams to improve the quality of care delivered by staff.
Our main ongoing project over the past seven years has been to help rural mission hospitals become self-reliant through improving their management. This support has been extended to 24 hospitals across Uganda. Previously we have focused mainly on financial management. The current phase of development is to enhance the systems to cope with recording all the patients details and so generate good quality medical data which will not only help the hospitals but act as a valuable resource for health care planning and research.
To this end, we made contact with the UK based Medical Research Council which has an office in Entebbe. The Chief Operating Officer, Susanne Rupp, kindly visited Naggalama hospital to see our work in operation. MRC has long experience of research in Uganda and will help us to develop our system more effectively.
David Robertshaw joined me for the first part of my visit. He has wide experience of computer management and may be able to help us with our future development.
We also met Prof J Meirion Thomas, a senior semi-retired surgeon who worked in Uganda in 1979 and is considering coming back again to help.
We are very grateful for the help so many give us.
It was very good to hear that the staff loan scheme we have been supporting at Kitovu hospital over the past four years has produced many benefits for their staff. Some practical examples are detailed below.
Hospital staff achievements using loans from the scheme
Start-up of personal income generating projects: Staff have invested in construction of rentals, crop farming like planting coffee, maize, banana plantation, poultry, piggery, cattle, general merchandise, mobile money business etc.
Mukasa Harriet a nurse with ART programme of the hospital got a loan from the scheme and bought a chunk of land from which she currently grows crops for home consumption as well as selling. Her dream is to use one part of her land to construct her home and the other part for crop farming and poultry:
Hospital Records Assistant-(Mukaisenje Jovanice) managed to put up a retail shop as her income generating project using the loan she got from the scheme. In her kiosk, she hired an attendant who works tirelessly to prepare breakfast, break tea while also selling beverages, consumables and milky products. Her business has managed to pay back the loan, and she is reaping from the investment. Her future plan is to expand the business by getting another loan from the scheme:
Hospital Secretary (Nassali Prossy) has managed to buy a plot of land and put up a personal house from multiple loans she got from the scheme. Her dream is to say goodbye to renting by use part of her house as her home and the other part as rentals for hire so that she can save from paying her rent as well as earn some extra income from her tenants
Staff have accessed loans from the scheme for school fees for their children at primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
Staff Mambu Miriam (A social worker) is one of the scheme members who has benefited by accessing school fees loan from the scheme for her children:
Salary Accountant (Ms. Nakavuma Annet) with her five children strives to educate them at Broader Vision nursery & primary school Kawoko-Kampala through accessing school fees loan from the scheme. She highly appreciated the contribution of the scheme that if it were not the scheme, probably her children would not be schooling:
Staff have accessed loans for their own fees while at upgrading level tertiary institutions especially enrolled nurses who upgrade to registered status as well as for further courses like public health etc.
Hospital Community Mobiliser (Kizza John Baptist) is grateful of the financial support extended to him through accessing loans from the scheme. He says that after the untimely death of his guardian & brother in a motor accident, his education was in a mess. But with the help of the hospital scheme he has managed to complete a degree in community psychology from Mutesa I University:
Deputy Senior Nursing Officer (Sr. Catherine Nakajiri) is currently undertaking a degree in public health from Mbarara University of Science and Technology. Her basis of tuition are the multiple loans she gets from the hospital scheme:
Home improvement: Many staff have secured plots of land, renovated their houses, and constructed homes for their families.
Rev. Sr. Maria Goretti Namuwulya(Hospital Administrator) is so thankful of the contribution of the scheme towards the development of her home. She got multiple loans from the scheme from which she managed to construct a home for her parents & relatives.
Hospital anaesthetist (Ms Josephine Kayondo) has managed to renovate her house as well as constructing rentals from the finances she has borrowed from the scheme. She says that the scheme has enabled her achieve her dream of becoming a landlord with over 10 tenants who pay her an extra monthly rental income.