EPHWOR with support and Partnership from Pro Afrika Foundation in the Netherlands has been conducting several Mobile Clinic outreaches in Buhwenju District and the surrounding areas of Kashari,Ibanda and Rubirizi.
Medical services like Dentistry,labaratory tests, Medical Checkups, Out patient medical treatment and simple surgeries could be done by a team of medical workers from EPHWOR ,Volunteers and Health workers attached to Buhwenju and Mbarara district Local governments.
Buhwenju and surrounding areas were identified for such intervention because its one of the least developed countries in western Uganda with poor road network and poor health care system.
We appreciate Pro Afrika Foundation under the Leadership of Maarten Manders who also doubles as EPHWOR’s representative in the Netherlands for supporting this cause and leading a campaign to Fundraise in the Netherland funds to have a permanent and sustainable Mobile Clinic in Buhweju.
- Organizational Summary
Enforcement of Patients and health workers’ rights (EPHWOR) is a Ugandan not for profit NGO registered under the NGO bureau. It was founded 4 years ago by a group of lawyers and medical workers to address the deteriorating Medical Services in Uganda, violations of patients’ rights, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Violations, Skilling of Adolescent girls and Young Women and taking care of orphans that arise as a result of parents dying of HIV and medical negligence.
Our area of focus is Western Uganda particularly newly created Buhweju district that has the worst health service delivery statistics in the whole western region. The few government health facilities in Buhweju lack basic equipment like Ultrasound scan, Microscopes, X-rays, Dental chair and many others that aid clinicians to reach a diagnosis. Therefore patients are put on drugs with no tests done and there is a higher mortality rate in Buhweju District than any of the other districts in western Uganda.
Since EPHWOR’s formation it has been able to achieve the following.
I. It has continuously educated patients about their rights.
II. It has gone to courts of law to enforce rights of patients violated.
III. Donated medical equipment to health centers that we mobilize through friends and representatives in Europe.
IV. Taken care of Orphans whose parents died as a result of HIV and medical related negligence.
V Organized medical camps and offered treatments to the poor in hard to reach areas in Uganda through its medical team.
V1.Skilling of Adolescent girls and Young Women who cannot continue with their formal education, this done in Partnership with Pro Afrika Foundation.
EPHWORs Mobile Clinic Project aims at improving the health outcomes and quality of life of individuals who are financially poor, vulnerable and old to visit far distant hospitals for treatment.
OBJECTIVES OF THIS PROJECT
- To provide mobile health care services to the indigent and vulnerable People of Buhweju District where the basic access to health care service is lacking.
- To bring health care services into a community with limited access, specifically to those who are uninsured and underserved.
- To ensure curative health care: To prescribe and dispense medicines on the spot for the common ailments and referral to hospital for other cases.
- To raise awareness about preventive health care issues including Sexual reproductive Health and Rights, Primary Health care, communicable and other diseases
- The Mobile Medical clinic also intends to integrate patients into existing social services and health care systems through referrals.
- To provides free regular medical care at a place that can best be accessible by the People of Buhweju.
- To provide ambulance Services to the People of Buhweju
- Project Summary.
A Mobile Clinic will be operated in a vehicle suitably designed with a reception, Doctors cabin, Laboratory & Pharmacy benefitting the poor and marginalized population of Buhweju who cannot afford medical expenses due to poverty and long distances to access health facilities who end up neglecting their health issues to an extent that an easily curable disease becomes sometimes fatal. It is a platform where poor citizens can access complete medical care including checkup, diagnosis & treatment from a qualified & experienced medical doctor free of cost at the nearby health Centre or doorstep.
- Background of the beneficiary region
Buhweju District is a district in Western Uganda. It is one of the districts that constitute the Ankole sub-region. Buhweju District is bordered by Rubirizi District to the west and northwest, Ibanda District to the northeast, Mbarara District to the east, Sheema District to the southeast, and Bushenyi District to the southwest. It has 8 sub counties and one town council-Nsiika.
The district’s total Land Area is 802 km2 (310 sq mi). Nsiika, the location of the district headquarters, is approximately 53 kilometres (33 mi), by road, northwest of Mbarara, the largest city in Ankole sub-region. This location is approximately 310 kilometres (190 mi), by road, southwest of Kampala, the capital of Uganda and the largest city in that country.
According current data from the district website, the total population is approximately 120,000 people.
- Natural Resources
Buhweju District has proven reserves of gold, lime and timber.
- Road Conditions
Buhweju district has only one main road which connects to Nsiika – where the district headquarters are located – through Kisenyi sub-county to Katerera in Bunyaruguru in Rubirizi district. It is narrow and dotted road with huge stones as big as an anti-hill. Other roads are bumpy and the further you get into the district, the rougher it gets. In rainy seasons, the roads are muddy and slippery– leaving out residents at the mercy of the middlemen.
- Economic conditions
The main economic activity in the whole district is Agriculture. Most people are engaged in activities like agro-processing, coffee farming and cattle keeping.
- Health Conditions in the District
The whole district has only one health Centre IV with only one medical Doctor who is part of this project. The Health Centre 1V serves as a district referral because of no hospital. Women walk long journeys to access maternal healthcare. Most patients don’t access health care services due to long distances and poverty. Lack of adequate facilities and equipment at the health center denies the community effective health service delivery.
- Present health and dental facilities in the project area
The few government health facilities in Buhweju lack basic equipment like Ultrasound scan, Microscopes, X-rays, Dental chair and many others that aid clinicians to reach a diagnosis. Therefore patients are put on drugs with no tests done and there is a higher mortality rate in Buhweju District than any of the other districts in western Uganda.
- Challenges/Problem Statement.
Buhweju district suffers from low coverage of healthcare services: for a population of over 120,000 inhabitants on 802 km2 (310 sq mi), with no hospital but just a Health Centre 1V that has only 5 inpatient beds and no medical Doctor.
Women, children, the elderly and persons with disabilities have difficulty in accessing healthcare. Patients continue to suffer due to lack of basic Health Care Services in their districts and having to walk several kilometers to access a Health Facility. The dentist can only do extractions from a local chair and other treatments like filings, scaling and polishing, Root canal treatment, dentures and more cannot be done.
Distances to medical facilities coupled with high costs often exclude a large number of patients. Patients are referred to over 100 km in Mbarara to access such treatments at a cost yet the people of Buhweju are extremely poor. The elderly,Women and disabled are often neglected and left to fend for themselves. Some Women have given birth as they walk to Hospitals, Other patients have gone ahead to lose all their teeth to periodontitis at a young age to mention but a few. By taking healthcare to all the villages of over 120,000 persons, we aim to save them from serious Chronic illness and death hence reduce on the surging morality rates in the district due to in accessible Health Care.
- Proposed Solution/Intervention.
To reach the rural population of one of the poorest districts of Buhweju, EPHWOR will start a Mobile Clinic project that will cover an area of around 802 km2 with a Trailer pulled by a Toyota Land cruiser equipped with diagnostic, therapeutic facilities, a team of doctors, Dentists, nurses, pharmacist and laboratory technician, who will take healthcare to these communities.
The Toyota Land Cruiser will be a multipurpose Van, it will transport the Medical team and it can be used as an Ambulance during referral of the sick to the Health facilities this will save Pregnant Women who give birth along the way as they walk to Health Facilities and other sick people that walk many kilometers to Health Facilities.
By taking healthcare to their villages, women, children, the elderly, the Poor and the disabled are able to receive high quality, medical and dental care at a free cost. By using a Toyota land cruiser with an attached trailer carrying treatment and diagnostic equipment, we are able to carry out basic tests that assist doctors in diagnosis and treatment. Using the projector in the trailer, we are able to create awareness about patients’ health rights and prevention of illness. Persons needing further care are referred and transported to specialized hospitals, enabling them to receive specialized care.
The Land cruiser ambulance can also help in the transportation of People to Health Facilities instead of walking long distances that further deteriorates their Health.
Through this project EPHWOR will conduct comprehensive medical camps and provide the following services:
- Mobile dental services
- Laboratory services (Malaria testing, HIV testing among other illnesses)
- Mobile scan and x-ray services
- Medical services
- Ambulance services
- Referrals to those in need of surgery
- Awareness and advocacy
All People living in the district and surrounding areas will benefit from the free mobile medical services and this will reduce the high mortality rates in Buhweju and surrounding areas that are attributed to a few Health facilities in the District and our staff will be able to follow up patients conditions regularly, Referral and transportation of patients that may need Specialized treatment in the land cruiser ambulance.
- EPHWOR Interventions
EPHWOR has in the past organized a medical camps and visited Buhweju and realized there was urgent need of mobile medical and Dental services to reach out to all sub counties in the district without patients having to walk over 20km when they are sick and thus seek any partnership through our representative in Netherlands Mr Maarten Manders, Dr.Ruud Van Vlerken from Pro Afrika Foundation and other well-wishers in the Netherlands to bring a smile back to the people of Buhweju in Uganda.
Dental and Medical Staff, qualifications and Competence
- Dr. Waluye Calvin –Dental Surgeon with a degree in dental Surgery from Makerere University.-Paid by the Government of Uganda
- Mr. Mugabe Joseph – Dental Officer with a Diploma in Dentistry from Mulago Paramedical schools. He can be able to do a wide range of dental treatments like extractions, Filliings, scaling and polishing, root canal of anterior teeth among others- paid by Government of Uganda.
- Ms Karungi Annettie – Dental Assistant with certificate in Dentistry from Ibanda nursing school Paid by Government of Uganda.
- Dr Aruho Amon –Dental surgeon,Lawyer with Masters in Medical law of the University of Kwazulu Natal –the Proposed Project coordinator and he is on EPHWOR,s pay roll.
- Dr Horace Kizito –Medical Doctor trained from Makerere University paid by the Government of Uganda.
- Dr Baguma Herbert –Medical Doctor trained from Makerere University and paid by the the Buhweju District Local Government.
- Ahumuza Alex –Labaratory technologists trained at Mulago Paramedical schools and paid by government
- Dr Gidoi Denis –Medical Doctor Trained at Makerere University paid by EPHWOR
- Kabahuma Jenny –Clinical officer trained at Fort portal school of Clinical officers-Paid by Ephwor
- Others Volunteers
The Health Team
The district health team is managed by Dr. Horace Kizito a medical officer with a Bachelor’s degree in medicine and surgery from Makerere University. It’s worth noting that this is the first doctor in the whole district for the last 10 years since the district was created.
We have a memorandum of Understanding with Government through the District Health officer that they will be supporting us with man power of Health workers and some consumables like Gloves during the scheduled medical camps in the future
EPHWOR requests assistance to improve Health care service delivery in Buhweju one of the poorest districts in Ugandan.
By your contribution and assistance you would have brought a smile to over 120,720 people in Buhweju whose health care has been neglected.
Each Donation you make to this project will make a difference and bring a smile to the People of Buhweju District