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Your immeasurable gift as prayer warriors and supporters is going deep into the heart of Uganda, and the people once living in darkness and death have seen a great light (Matthew 4:16). The greatest gift you can give to UCSS is to help us continue shining His light in the darkness. If you are not already, become a UCSS Lifer today with your monthly gift of any amount.
Six years ago, the areas around Bulike had no medical services. Community members had to travel 15km to the nearest facility. From the children to the elderly, people of all ages were suffering ill health and malnutrition.
Uganda Counseling and Support Services (UCSS) provided medical services to this community while also recruiting some workers and securing medicine. At first, UCSS offered free medical services under a Muvule tree until December 2011 when we were finally able to move to a temporary church structure. At this time, the number of patients quickly increased to over 200 a day from neighboring areas.
Because of the overwhelming number from neighboring areas, UCSS decided to open up mobile clinics. However, due to major cases that necessitated more advanced technology, UCSS resorted to conducting comprehensive monthly clinics in the above-mentioned areas and over 600 patients were attended to each day.
In 2013, with your generous support, UCSS built the Nana Health Centre providing antenatal, family planning services, and other nursing procedures. Immunization is done monthly, and counseling services are held twice a month. Reports are submitted to the district monthly; hospital equipment and drugs are also secured.
Nana Health Centre is now able to provide services that were only available at the hospital so far away that help rarely came in time. Despite the progress, there is still more work to be done.
With your help, we hope to have a fully functional unit with enough staff, hospital equipment, furniture, a fully equipped laboratory, a lighting system, signpost, fully equipped maternity section, an emergency transport system and many more services in order to fully serve the community of Bulike and her neighbors.
As a Pastor, it is very important to be able to detect mental health needs of the members of your community and have ways to assist with challenges related to their emotional or psychological well being. For Pastor Denis Mwebaza, this was always a challenge because he lacked the necessary skillset to tackle traumatizing experiences. When a member of your congregation comes to tell you that he just tested HIV+, sometimes simply quoting for him Bible verses and joining hands in prayer is not enough.
In 2014, when UCSS introduced the Mental Health Facilitator (MHF) Program, Pr. Denis was blessed to be among the participants. From this, he acquired helping skills and mental health knowledge. He was better able to deal with different emotional and psychological issues and this has made him a better pastor altogether.
Recently, a young lady lost a close family member in an accident. Pastor Denis found out that she was devastated and even considered self-harm. The pastor fully equipped with the gospel and his MHF skills went to visit her. After his meeting with her, she started improving and even had a balanced meal with the pastor. He is still in contact with her and her life has had a positive turn of events.
After MHF, it has been easier for the pastor to understand the emotional and psychological issues that the congregation and the entire community go through. The lessons changed his life for the better. He prays that everyone gets a chance to have these lessons to fully impact lives.
Our mental health trainings are so critical to making the communities self-sufficient, and Pastor Denis is a great example of the difference it’s making
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Thank you for your continued prayers and support. You are making a difference for the Kingdom of God.
Five years ago, John Mbatya and his age mates used to walk 5-15 miles to the nearest school because there was none in Bulike. John and his classmates only consisted of 15% of the total number of children of school-going age in his community and the other 85% were not bothered with education. John and his classmates made this journey in fear of witch doctors that usually kidnapped them for sacrifice. When UCSS came to Bulike, we were requested by parents to open up a school. John and his classmates started having their classes under trees.
Children have a very special place in our heart here at UCSS. So much of what we do is geared towards helping build up our next generation because children are Uganda’s future. Unfortunately, Uganda is challenged with high child mortality, but we are committed to save as many children as possible.
I wanted to quickly outline our plan to take care of our children and keep them healthy.
- UCSS will need to educate the rural people about how to provide decent shelter and food for their families from extremely limited resources, avoid preventable illnesses to their children, and when and how to seek medical care . Specifically, UCSS will continuously educate women about health and disease issues relating to prenatal care, basic hygiene, nutrition and immunization.
- We will focus our education on the leading causes of infant mortality, which include: birth asphyxia, pneumonia, pre-term birth complications diarrhoea, malaria, measles and malnutrition.
- We will reduce birth asphyxia by ensuring that there are effective resuscitation at birth facilities near the rural places.
- We shall strive to prevent pneumonia by ensuring that the children are vaccinated, provided with antibiotics and oxygen (to those children already suffering from pneumonia), and encouraging mothers to breastfeed their babies.
- We will mitigate the problem of pre-term birth complications by encouraging mothers to keep low-birth-weight babies warm by skin-to-skin contact with the mother, and providing free wrappings to keep the baby warm.
- We will prevent diarrhoea by encouraging mothers to breastfeed and by providing oral rehydration salts combined with zinc supplements to treat the sick children with, We shall tackle the malaria problem by supplying insecticide-treated bed nets and encouraging mothers to use them.
- We will tackle measles by providing timely vaccines to all children. Finally, we will meet the malnutrition challenge by emphasising to mothers what their children should be fed on to attain a balanced diet from the food resources in the community.
How We Will Save More Children
For UCSS to successfully intervene in these critical areas, it will use its healthcare team of a doctor, nurses, clinical officers and community healthcare workers to lead the women education programme, in partnership with district and Ministry of Health officials. The team will work closely with the community and address key issues such as ensuring the children are fed the right foods, they are taken for vaccination, all the people use clean and safe water, the bathrooms are kept clean at all times, and the garbage is disposed of from the home environment. Importantly, team members observe the WHO strategy of delivering Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by providing appropriate home care and timely treatment of complications for newborns, complementing health authorities by participating in the expanded programme on immunization, and promoting infant and young child feeding. Equally important, the healthcare team will adopt other interventions for maternal health, such as expert care during pregnancy and childbirth. We will collaborate with other health staff from the Ministry of Health and other partners to look after mothers’ health during pregnancy to prevent deficiencies in Iron, Iodine and Vitamin A.
UCSS will also keep installing water wells in vulnerable communities to give mothers a chance of providing clean water for their children. We will also strive to continue providing quality life through various interventions for marginalised areas, in line with our vision.