Kitgum Town

Kitgum Town
Kitgum Town

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Yotkom Compassionate Fund

We have been confronted with so many patients who have life threatening conditions and who because of poverty are unable to access curative surgery.
To address these needs we have set up a Compassionate Fund with a distinct bank account here in Uganda.
These funds will be used to help people like this 12 year old boy who was born as a "Blue Baby" with congenital heart defects. He struggles to breathe and cant walk to school. He often presents to the medical clinic in a collapsed and semi conscious state with very low levels of oxygen in his blood.
Yotkom has facilitated a review by a heart specialist in a regional centre 2 hours from here and they have advised that surgery will greatly assist his quality of life.

His is one of eight children . His father is a village farmer and he has lost his mother.
Thankyou to those who have already given a total of $3000 USD toward the $5000 required.
If you would like to help children like this get help, please give to  Yotkom Uganda.
The donation options are described on our home page.
If you would like to direct your funds to the compassionate fund, please notate the gift with "yotkom compassionate fund" or YCF.
Thankyou

Meet Kenneth and Prisca



Dr Kenneth Kaunda has been our supervising doctor since the medical centre opened in October 2015.
He has been working in the Ugandan Government hospital setting for four years and spending about one week a month on site working with our clinical officers . He has decided to leave the Government setting and will commence working full time on site from 1st March 2017. Its an exciting development for us and also a leap of faith as growing in size and professional standing  means increasing our wages bill considerably!
Kenneth is married to Harriet and they have two children.
He seems to like wearing Australian slouch hats too !
We are hoping that Dr Kenneth will undertake specialty training in Family Medicine in the near future.


Prisca is a well respected local Ugandan Midwife.
We have known her for many years and have assisted her with her training program.
She has agreed to help us start some Maternal and Child Health Services at Yotkom Medical Centre.
Every Friday she will undertake an antenatal clinic , screening young mothers as we play a part in reducing the high rates of maternal and child health mortality in this community.

Growing relationships, resources and self reliance

Yotkom has a vision to partner together to improve access and excellence in primary health care services in Northern Uganda.
We seek to focus on building relationships, resources and self reliance.
Strong relationships are so important to the health of our team.
One of our shared values is honesty and respect.
Part of developing this type of work culture has been the introduction of an online time clock for improving punctuality and reliability.  This approach to the work place is not that common in an African setting , but we are happy to say that our people are embracing the new technology wwith enthusiasm.
Thanks to TimeClockWizard we are much more able to track everyones movements and attendance records.
We are building good relationships with national medical insurance companies and now have three of the bigger groups who have inspected our facilities and recommended us to their clients. People in the district have also been lobbying their insurers to work with Yotkom because of our reputation for excellence and compassionate care.

We recently signed an agreement with IAA. The biggest medical insurer in Uganda.
These partnerships will help us with sustainability and self reliance and also make it possible for us to keep user fees as low as possible for the most disadvantaged.
Thankyou to those who have given donations to help us to acquire the equipment and resources we need to make this project strong.  For instance, our computer network has come together as a result of a constant trickle of donated laptops from Australia and the assistance of IT professionals to set up our system. Our network is being  used for on line accounting software, the new timeclockwizard , our medical software program for doctors and for accessing useful medical information and reasearch.
The internet also allows instant sharing of on site clinic  information with Australian directors.

Building extensions underway



We are constructing a covered and shaded area at one end of the building. This will act as a linkway between the existing building and subsequent phases.
In the meantime it will ensure our pathology laboratories and ultrasound room are much cooler, keeping out the hot tropical sun.
The area will also be a place to park vehicles and for patients to sit and talk and eat.
WE thank our recent visitors,  Mariana and Ivan , for drawing up the plans for this !


WE are also in the process of connecting to the local electricity grid.
Three power poles have to be constructed.
Our solar system sometimes needs a boost and our costs for generator fuel are becoming significant .




Watoto continue with interior fit out of Yotkom Medical Centre


Watoto Construction Pty Ltd from  Kampala have ccompleted more interior fit outs at the medical centre, installing a new reception counter , desks and storage cupboards in our administration area , as well as built in cupboards and desks in two doctor consulting rooms.
They also brought a team to sand and lacquer the terrazo floor in our operating theatre and recovery room.
The whole process has really improved our work environment and gone a long way to help us be more organised with space for files and documents.









Thursday, November 24, 2016

Access to Yotkom improved



We are thankful that the Chinese road company has constructed a new driveway and pedestrian access to our facility. It has been so challenging for our patients to negotiate a steep slope into the facility. Its been a long struggle, but so good this week to see the bulldozers arrive and also the added bonus of tarmac on the highway reduces our dust soooo much !!



The challenges our community face


Yet again on this visit we have been confronted with the poverty and huge needs of the Acholi people. And yet also encouraged by their warm welcome, joy and continued friendships.  Despite their challenges they push forward in life facing challenge after challenge with such patience, resilience and a strong faith and reliance on God.  For many it is people and relationships which mean the most in life.  Material possessions are few and struggles are many. I often hear the words, “Mama it is so hard”.  And the requests for help can be overwhelming at times.
It is a challenge for these people to find employment, pay school fees, buy enough food, pay for transport costs, health treatment, rent, burial costs and the list goes on. Food is more expensive this year as some of their rains have failed and we are told that there are people in the villages who are starving.  This lack of rain has inflated prices as supplies are low.  If people are lucky enough to be connected to power they are often frustrated as the power supply is so unreliable.  I was told yesterday that at times the power is off for a month, but they are still required to pay the monthly charge for connection.  The excuse is that the company has been load sharing, or the poles are damaged.  Corruption is rife and the innocent suffer. Insecurity has been a problem in the last few months but an increased police presence in town and a confiscation of guns and capture of the offenders has brought relief in the last month after a number of  innocent people were robbed and killed.  People are now able to move freely again at night, with a number of police patrolling the town at night.
Amidst all this our committed medical team at Yotkom continue to deliver compassionate wholistic health care. We are proud of the work they do each day.