Kitgum Town

Kitgum Town
Kitgum Town

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Training and Networking in Gulu

Our female team members are feeling very happy after eating some of Andrews chocolate stash and trying on their newly made African dresses.
They have been working today to set up a sewing corner in our Yotkom Drug Shop. We have purchased a treadle sewing machine and plan to find ways of sewing and distributing the Days for Girls kits to the Kitgum community.
Days for Girls
The reception from the schools we have visited has been great and our Clinic nurses, Winnie and Florence along with Concy our chaplain have been very animated and engaged in their presentations.
These presentations in schools are a wonderful opportunity to deliver highly effective sexual health and safety messages to the young women of Uganda. It is a very important way of preventing transmission of HIV AIDs and other sexually transmitted diseases as well as protecting vulnerable girls from sexual assault and exploitation. Our Yotkom health team  hope to do many more in the district with assistance of funds from Australia

We spent some time today brainstorming ideas to fine tune the plans for the Yotkom Medical Clinic. Our architect and project manager, Andrew Kilama has been applying himself to the task.
 Andrew Wright will be seeking out quotations from builders here  to construct the clinic in 2015.

Earlier in the week Pat and Andrew travelled to Gulu, where we partnered with Prime International to assist in the delivery of a Whole Person Medicine training course to 40 second year Clinical Officer trainees. It went very well and I was impressed by the calibre of the students and their interaction . Much of the teaching was on consulting skills and managing mental health disorders. Three doctors from the UK  worked with us and two of our clinical officers from Kitgum, Richard and Peter , also participated and received certificates.

While in Gulu we were able to make valuable connections with the Hope for Humans Organisation which is working with children with Nodding Syndrome in that district .
Hope for Humans
 Their director, Caesar is coming to Kitgum next week and we will talk about ways we can work together to address the significant problem of Nodding Syndrome amongst children in our  community.

We also took a 6km Boda ride to the Lacor Hospital, a 500 bed facility established by the Catholic Church in 1959. The Medical Superintendent was very welcoming and gave us a guided tour. It was helpful for our clinical officers from Kitgum, 100km away to meet specialists they may need to refer difficult patients to.  The Med Superintendent  shared with us the challenges of running such a major facility. Only  20 % of all running costs come from patient fees , 10% from Government assistance and the remaining 70% is sourced from donors. How difficult it is for these much needed health care facilities to survive in communities where there is so much poverty , unemployment and major disease burdens.