Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Day in the Life of a “Remote” Ugandan Health Center III

We arrive on our First  Day, February 23rd, in our Grand Global Hotel van with our trusty driver “Haj”…now officially a Drexel driver. … The road is dusty to the Namungalwe HC opened in 1927 to serve a community stricken with sleeping sickness.  We get out of the van and get a tour of the health center grounds and facilities. It is close to 9:00 am after we get the tour and the classes are about to begin.

The Center is getting abuzz with the arrival of our VTT Drexel team along with Dr. Flavia and Mid-wife Dorcas to conduct HBB and HMS training… 17 (two more than expected, good news )  are ready for training.

Namugalwe is a Level III Health Center, with 20 beds and a medical officer but operating theater nor a doctor.  The Over 100 patients are seen each day and depending on the day, certain activities occur. Monday (our first training day) is a general medicine day but the community health information room is busy with patients lining up for services. The catchment area for this HC is about 200,000 in villages Kigali sub-county making them quite busy, although with not enough supplies and medicine and electricity to run the center properly. Rotary can help them help themselves... and our Global Grant is now the seed for a Public-Private Partnership, now in teh works to better sustain this center... soon to become a Regional Training Center for HBB-HPP Plus and HMS... together with the computer network being installed, this will be a great regional medical training resource center. THANK YOU  Rotary !!! 


While HBB is being conducted with our Pediatric Doctors and MidWife Dorcas Maggie joins in for learning HBB. Dr. Owen wanders over to the Labor Ward has seen sets up his Phillips loaned Tablet Base Ultrasound scan system. My job was to help Owen set up the exam area and marshal he resources to help Owen for that afternoon since Center midwives were busy being trained in HBB.  During the day Owen sent one mom to labor ward, and one had stiches taken out… the rest were happy to hear and see the babies they were carrying were healthy… No “sex” determinations were not made… we did not want technology to skew results.  Tomorrow, 200 women are expected for antenatal exams. Owen and Maggie will be busy…

 Improvisation to make our scale for meaureing Mom's. Maggie at work :-)

The Moms wating to see Maggie and Owen... 100 more expected tomorrow.

Me working hard :-)

I toured the center to see the improvements in infrastructure since last year, seeing some of the new beds from last year’s Global Grant being used in the wards. I also inspected the water situation… this years Global Grant has $12,500 budgeted to connect a local deep bore hole well to an elevated Water tank, pumped by a solar powered submersible pump. The water tank will be high enough to establish sufficient water pressure to send the water about 200 meters to the far end of the Center where labor and delivery is located. Currently there is no running water in the Health Center one has to fetch the water about 50 m off the property and hand carry it to the delivery area… what a difference the water supply will make in the operation of the labor and delivery area.

Always building at HC's

The nearby water well, a community meets and passes on the daily news
but Namungalwe HC needs some of this water too.

 Prof, Rev Sam Luboga, born in this center, looks at teh well and tank that has not worked in 5 years or more... Rotary to the resucue our Global Grant will put in a new tanks and connect the well below to the maternity wards and other needed parts of the HC.  Rotary at work attendning to the medical skills or the HC and to their water needs.

In the distance about 150 meters away is the Maternity Ward that by the end of this second year of this 2nd Global Grant helping improve Maternal and Child Health in Uganda.

 Our students still pracicting their HBB Skills at the end of Day 1

At 5:00 everybody was hot and exhausted and ready to head to our new home… Mum Resort Hotel, about 20 km away in Iganga, down a long and bumpy “sort of’” paved road. 

We reached the hotel and had our happy hour and used up the local supply of Ice before they could make it… but the time we left three days later, the hotel was bringing us bowls of ice cubes.  We then were in heaven. Learned to play cribbage from Maggie and Owen and others shared how to play Hearts. We had a good dinner, their restaurant about a 1 star, food was ok. I had a whole HUGE grilled tilapia, a tasty fish… took up the whole plate. J

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