Kitgum Town

Kitgum Town
Kitgum Town

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,
include.
 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.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

HIV AIDs centre of excellence

Subsaharan Africa has the highest incidence of HIV. AIDs and associated diseases like Tuberculosis in the world.
The Yotkom sponsored medical centre in Kitgum has been awarded Ugandan Government approval to provide free HIV medications to adults and children affected by this disease. The clinic will also be providing pregnancy care to mothers and seeking to identify those carrying the virus so that transmission from mother to child of HIV AIDs can be prevented,
It is unusual for private medical facilities to be given these responsibilities so this is a very positive reflection on the quality of our medical team and the services they provide here
Today the focal team met for some in service training given by a Ugandan  doctor who works in this AIDs  specialty area.
Those present included two clinical officers, a doctor, two comprehensive nurses, a midwife, a laboratory technician and a counsellor. It was a very worthwhile time. Our health team are keen learners!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Prayer,dedication and celebration as we set aside our land for construction


 Yotkom Uganda  team and medical staff from the medical clinic have gathered together on the construction site to celebrate in true African style , thankful for the provision of funds for building and praying for a smooth construction over the next six months.
Builders will commence work within a week.



On Tuesday the 3 rd march the Yotkom directors unanimously agreed to accept the building quotation from Andrew kilama to construct the medical centre.
A contract has been signed and the site handed over to the building company.
The completion date within 6 months.





Meanwhile, medical work continues at the clinic. Children are being vaccinated  regularly against preventable  diseases like polio hepatitis b, pneumonia ,tetanus, and pertussis.

Today we vaccinated a man against rabies after he sustained a dog bite.
A child aged 2 travelled from the Sudan border to seek medical care at our clinic. The young girl had malaria and most likely worm infestation leading to severe anaemia  and malnutrition. ( she weighed only 8 kg )

Friday, February 20, 2015

Days for Girls outreach to Agoro


Next week Yotkom will be partnering with an organisation called Kitgum women's peace initiative  to  facilitate the presentation of the Days for Girls teaching program  to four schools in the rural community of Agoro. KWPI are concerned about young girls missing school because of inability to access feminine hygiene products and they have asked us to assist. There is also a need to provide education on self care and protection from sexual assault to these young women.  The incidence of unwanted teenage pregnancies and HIV AIDs. Transmission is of major concern in these village communities.

Agoro is two hours drive from Kitgum. Lying close to the Sudan border.
Today we travelled to lamwo district government headquarters and. met with Barnabas, the director of Education for the district .He is highly supportive of the  work to educate young girls and improve school attendance.


We will be donating days for Girls sanitary products  to four schools . These have been tailored in our Yotkom centre in Kitgum using funds donated from Australia.
These rural schoolchildren will benefit a lot from this preventive health strategy.