Kitgum Town

Kitgum Town
Kitgum Town

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Building update

Inspecting medical clinic with project manager and electricians to locate power outlets and computer networks

Electricians chisel grooves for conduits into the brick walls. Later to be rendered

Guesthouse site is being fenced 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Yotkom Bregma Medical Centre nearing completion

I believe within two months the construction of the Yotkom Bregma Medical Centre in Kitgum Uganda will be completed and the 30 Ugandan health workers we partner with will have a new home.

It's so exciting to walk through the building which up to know has been a picture in the minds eye or a sketch on a piece of paper. The high ceilings  will provide for a big spacious look and a cool space. Big windows are letting in lots of natural light.
Today the doctors, lab technicians, X-ray and ultrasound operators walked through the rooms with our project director Andrew Kilama and the electricians to locate lights and switches as well as locations for a computer cabling network. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Excited about the future and how we can together make a difference.

After over 10 weeks living and working in Kitgum Uganda, Andrew and Anne Wright are returning to Australia.
Andrew plans to  come back to Uganda in July.
We are feeling excited about the future of the Yotkom Uganda project.
It is very encouraging to work with such a great  team of healthcare professionals.
There is a real sense of unity and shared vision amongst our leadership who want so much. to create a centre  of hope and healing ,providing high standards of health care to this community.
We are working in a part of the world where there is the greatest need for medical intervention.
Subsaharan Africa has  25 % of the worlds disease burden and only 3% of the worlds health professionals and 1% of the worlds health expenditure.
 Infectious diseases like malaria and tuberculosis are common here. Add to this the burden of HIV AIDs which affects approximately one in five people.  Then factor in the rising tide of non communicable diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease . And remember in the community of Northern Uganda  live many  of the very poor, with about 40% living below the  United Nations   poverty  line  defined as. less s than $1 US per day.
Northern Uganda is recovering from twenty years of civil war and the unemployment rate is over 60%..
We know The need is great. Living here we have witnessed this first hand ...and it has  had a profound impact on us.
We have a lot of faith that our project can help meet the  need and at the same time show Gods love through compassionate,wholistic health care.
The construction of  the Yotkom Bregma Medical  Centre  is well underway with foundations being poured in APRIL . The walls have been erected in JUNE and the roof is due to be placed in early JULY.
Yotkom  Medical Centre . June 2015

 We have a lot of admiration and confidence in our  building project manager , Andrew Kilama  to complete the task to a high standard  by October 2015.
We need another $25,000 AUS by then to complete the construction .
Please consider donating toward this  by clicking on the  GIVE NOW tax deductible link on the right hand side of this  web page.
The medical team of 30 currently working in rented facilities are very excited about the pending move.
On our worksite we have a chaplain who is providing pastoral care to our builders and labourers. His name is Fearless !

About one kilometre from the medical centre site we have prepared some land for the future construction of a guesthouse facility which will accommodate  teachers, trainers and facilitators who wish to spend some time working with our  Yotkom .Uganda health project.  We believe there are many people in Australia and elsewhere who would like to spend time here,, Sharing their knowledge and skills  in the fields of medicine, surgery, nursing, allied health,, business, counselling, information technology  and many others.
We would love to start building g this facility in 2016!

X Ray facilities are critical to the effective functioning of our medical centre,  there are many patients who present daily with orthopaedic problems such as fractured bones and dislocations as  a result if road traffic accidents or  injuries at home and in the work place.
X Rays assist the doctors greatly in diagnosing and treating.
The machines draw a lot if power so our solar system cannot cope with the demand.  The network power is disrupted frequently so we have wanted a generator for sometime to minimise work disruption.
 We want to thank so many generous people who gave specifically to this purchase !

Monday, March 23, 2015

Construction of foundations for Yotkom Medical centre

You can watch  a brief video of the construction site for the new medical clinic by clicking on the link below: our Ugandan builders are working hard in the hot sun !

Site visit March 23rd 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015

Reflections from David Ajala

Well, what a tremendous experience I’ve had in this vibrant Ugandan town of Kitgum. It really has been a humbling experience, the local Acholi people are beautiful, kind and happy given the extremely challenging circumstances. They live for the day, always looking for the positives in each situation and are very focused on the social aspects of enjoying family, friends and life in general. You very quickly realise how little is needed to sustain you in this life; material things quite often just clutter your life and camouflage the important, beautiful things about life – friendship, family, love and compassion.  

I must say it took me a few days to get used to the thick and unrelenting African dust in the dry season, it seems to get into absolutely every nook and cranny. I lived in Lagos Nigeria for many of my younger years and a lot of things reminded me of that time of my life, but I can’t recall ingesting a kilo of dust daily.

Andrew and Anne showed me around the Bregma medical clinic & the Yotkom drug store on a number of occasions and I had the great pleasure of meeting the medical team there who are a dedicated and lively bunch. 
As is everyone in this township, they are working in trying conditions in an old building with limited resources, but are saving lives and reducing the pain and suffering in the Kitgum community. I take my hat off to each and every person there. Keep up the great work!

We also had the opportunity to visit the land where the new Yotkom  clinic is being built, how exciting. The fence was being erected when we were there and hopefully it will be completed in around 6 months
. I already looking forward to getting back to Kitgum to see it finished, it will certainly lift the teams spirit and further support the community.   

I was very fortunate to be invited to Dr Vincent’s and Rosyln’s traditional Acholi marriage on Saturday, full of colour, music, dancing, song, laughter, fun, food and tradition, it even had the obligatory wedding cake and off course, the wedding presents.

 Thank you for inviting me  Vincent and all the best for a long, healthy and happy marriage.  

Andrew and I had some time one evening to watch a movie (The Foxcatcher) without popcorn, and then he offered to challenge me in a game of chess, where he proceeded to dismantle my ego, piece by piece – thanks Andrew, I think I’ll go back to playing my 10 year old son.

The real highlight of the week, apart from the wedding, was seeing the absolute joy we witnessed on a 5 year old Acholi boys face when we handed him a brand new soccer ball to play with. He must have done a 10 second hundred metre dash back to his family home to show off his new ball. That was a special moment.

Anyway, enough ratting from me, thank you Anne & Andrew for making me feel so welcome and safe (with Bosco and the dogs as our constant house guards, who wouldn’t feel safe & secure – thanks Bosco), and taking me into your home with open arms, it’s been a delight in so many ways and a trip I will cherish.

P.S enjoy the slow cooked chicken in my absence. David

Friday, March 13, 2015

Aiming for excellent health care

Part of our  Yotkom vision is to develop a medical centre of excellence to serve the needs of the Kitgum community.
One of the ways to reach this goal is to work with our existing team  and introduce new practices which improve  quality.
Examples of initiatives we have recently introduced,
 Setting up an emergency trolley for easy access to equipment and drugs  required to treat medical  and surgical urgent cases

Introducing charts and records for nurses to use when giving drugs and intravenous fluids to overnight stay patients.

The medical clinic appreciates the assistance of Dr Moses, a young energetic Ugandan surgeon who consults and operates within the centre ,as well as other facilities in Kitgum
He also teaches our clinical officers  on surgical. Procedures.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Container of Medical Equipment released !

After many months of waiting ,pursuing officials , filling in forms and several hundred emails....the container of donated medical equipment from Australia has finally been released by Ugandan authorities. The seal has been broken and the doors opened allowing access to much needed equipment for our medical clinic and other projects such as St Joseph's Hospital and Tender Trust Centre. We want to thank the Mater Hospital Brisbane and Graham Carter for all the efforts they have made on behalf if the Kitgum community.
We have a guest from Australia here with us currently. His name us David Ajala.
Today he was able to see the building site and observe progress on the construction of the medical clinic. He has also been meeting our team and helping with business development  ,sharing some helpful ideas on strengthening the project activities and financial reporting.