Medical and Mental Health Care Ministry

Last Updated: May 20, 2016

The Nana Health Centre which was completed in early 2015 has been able to address most of the medical care needs of the Bulike community. In the last 6 months, 1,755 patients were treated. We are continuing to ask for a minimum contribution to receive treatment. The government take-over plan has slowed due to budget shortfalls but we are continuing to work closely with the District Health Office. We have begun training 21 counselors in the new community of Buluya.

While there have been many successes we are also faced with challenges. We often do not have enough medical supplies to treat everyone. We still lack certain equipment and we need some kind of electricity source to run that equipment once we do have it.

Please read more below about our achievements, challenges, and future plans for this ministry.

Part 1: Medical Care

Achievements

  • The Nana Health Centre continued with 24-hour operations in service to the Bulike Community. The diseases mostly treated were malaria and worms’ infections, peptic ulcer, pneumonia, upper respiratory tract infection, and skin diseases. This is due to lack of  adequate sanitation and not using mosquito nets.
  • Initiatives have been made towards government takeover of the running of the health centre and so far, UCSS has made contact with the responsible district officials. The District Health Officer came and inspected the centre and although he also cited challenges in the government budget, he promised to continue advocating for it. He also said that in the meantime, the district would try, whenever possible, to support the centre with basic drugs such as anti-malarials and painkillers in case they have a surplus stock. We continue to submit monthly reports to the District Health Office.
  • 11 nursing assistants students completed their training in December 2015 and graduated on 12th February, 2016.
  • Though there has been subsidized medicine and treatment, the community has been encouraged to make some contribution for their treatment. Although some community members still find difficulty in raising their contribution, the majority have adhered to it. The health centre construction has been completed after finalization of ceiling installation and painting. It still requires equipments and more staffing.
  • We continued to carry out regular community training on primary health care. This training addressed issues such as sanitation, family planning, nutrition and disease prevention. UCSS utilized all available platforms to reach the community, including formal and informal gatherings like church services, clinics, political meetings and the like.

Success Stories

  • 39-year-old Konso Sarah from Nansololo reported to the centre on the 2/24/2016 with life-threatening hypertension levels of 180/90MMHg, peptic ulcers, and Rheumatism, and needed immediate attention. She received treatment at the Health Centre and got better.
  • Kasadha Moses, who is just seven months old, was brought to Nana Health Centre having difficulty in breathing and having high fever and needed immediate attention. He was diagnosed with malaria and severe pneumonia. He was given immediate first aid treatment and referred to a referral hospital but his mother was unable to mobilize transportation to the hospital. Our staff at Nana was able to help get the child to the hospital, he was admitted and put on medication and close monitoring for three days, and he recovered. If the clinic had not intervened, the community would have lost the child.

Challenges

  • Limited drug supplies in relation to the number of patients.
  • Not being able to handle specialized treatment because of limited medical personnel with vast experience and knowledge.
  • Lack of electricity and specialized equipment to handle some cases.
  • Absence of a midwife to handle deliveries yet there are frequent deaths in the community for lack of midwives.
  • Government takeover of the medical clinic has been rather slow in progress, due to limited funds on the government budget. We still await further instructions to proceed to the Ministry of Health.
  • Halting of the rotational/mobile clinics has affected the progress of other UCSS programs because the mobile clinics were the greatest indicators of UCSS presence in the community.

Future plans

  • Extending the medical program to Buluya
  • Construction of pit latrine for Nana Health Centre
  • Explore opportunities to have solar / any power source to the health centre as soon as possible
  • Continue seeking out partnerships with medical mission teams that can offer volunteer services to the community
  • Organize local medical personnel to conduct free medical camps
  • Continue to support operations and management of  Nana health centre
  • Sensitize the community about primary health issues
  • Continue working with government to secure their assistance towards the UCSS medical program
  • Submit Health related Grant.
  • Work and collaborate with at least five health related organizations to increase medical access
  • Conduct at least one mobile clinic in Buluya on a monthly basis.

Part 2: Counseling and Mental Health Care

Achievements

  • Counseling was done within all the other programs such as evangelism, education and medical care. This has helped to facilitate community strengthening through objective conflict resolution, reducing divorce rates and changing community perceptions on challenges such as teenage/premarital pregnancy, among others. Previously, girls who got pregnant outside marriage were disowned by their families and chased from the home. With continued counseling and sensitization within the community, parents are now beginning to appreciate positive resolution strategies for such challenges. Previous beneficiaries of the Mental Health Facilitation trainings continue to help in facilitating these sessions.
  • A refresher sensitization seminar was held in the month of January 2016 for MHF trainees.
  • 21 Leaders from Buluya community participated in the MHF refresher courses held in Jinja in the month of February 2016, with two of them being trainers.
  • 24 University students also received MHF refresher courses in Kabale in the same month of February 2016.

Challenges

  • Lack of enough counselors and mental Health facilitators to attend to the vast Mental health needs in communities.
  • Lack of general community awareness about Mental health makes counseling and Mental health facilitation challenging.
  • Community misconceptions  that mental health problems are a result of witchcraft.

Future Plans

  • Expand the counseling program to Buluya
  • Continue regular counseling programs and offer counseling services at the new UCSS office

If God is moving you to support this ministry, there are three things you can do now:

Thank you so much for all of your support. May the good Lord continue to bless you abundantly.

Dr. Ronald Kaluya

One of the trained nurses provides medical care for a patient.

This is the Nana Health Center.

Specialty doctors visit once per week.

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