Kenya: Economic Development through Agricultural Training, Partnership with Development in Gardening (DIG)

excerpt from a progress report prepared by Katherine Falk and Jonathan White

The Lwala Community Alliance is a non-profit health and development agency working in Nyanza Province, Kenya. Supported by Real Medicine Foundation Kenya and World Children’s Fund, the organization provides 33,000 patient visits each year through the Lwala Community Hospital. The mission of the organization is to meet the health needs of all people living in north Kamagambo, including its poorest. The hospital is part of a larger effort to achieve holistic development in Lwala, including educational and economic development.

One of the main project objectives is building the capacity of community members in income generating activities. Through a partnership with DIG (Development in Gardening), the Lwala Community Alliance is training farmers in agriculture and nutrition to maintain diverse, sustainable gardens.

Economic Development through Agricultural Training

Lwala Community Alliance’s partnership with DIG aims to empower young men and women through economic and marketplace development. DIG has facilitated access to business skills training, financial literacy, and technical training in organic vegetable production.

In Lwala, sugar cane is the primary cash crop and often one of the only viable sources of income for young men and women between the ages of 20 and 35. The low supply of sugar cane in the area has increased competition among the distributors, including young women who sometimes struggle to secure even a day’s supply and who often resort to risky sexual behavior to earn a living wage.

Beldine and Rose both married into jaggery (unrefined sugar) production families that are struggling to survive due to decreasing supplies of sugar cane to the millers in the area. Now, they both are members of a farmers group that was implemented by DIG in the Lwala community. They have learned the basic skills in local vegetable production and have received vegetable seeds from DIG through a cost-sharing model.

Beldine, a young mother and wife, is quick to express pride that she contributes to her family’s well-being, “before we were completely dependent upon jaggery production, which is in decline, but now I can feed my family without the sugar cane.”  With the help of partner DIG, Beldine is growing local vegetables to supplement the wages of her husband, a machine operator at the milling site.

Rose, a 31-year-old mother and a wife, also grows vegetables. Her husband struggles to earn livable wages from the sugar cane milling sites to feed their family, but now he hopes to learn more about growing vegetables from his wife. “She is a good teacher,” he says.

Both Beldine and Rose are optimistic about their futures. As Beldine says, “I believe I will be successful. I can feed my family and now avoid the abuse found with the sugar cane industry.”

Beldine collects produce from her garden

Beldine collects produce from her garden

Additional Program Highlights

• 10 model farmers planted vegetable gardens that will be harvested in January and February, when vegetable supply is typically low. The same farmers received training on soil fertility and soil management techniques.

• Farmer field training began with 4 newly identified support groups (126 members total). Tree nurseries were set up with 10 pupils in their home gardens. DIG staff conducted follow up with 12 pupils who have home gardens and provided training on record keeping.

• Maurice, an intern in the Economic Department, was trained by DIG as a Trainer of Trainers on organic agriculture; he will act as the lead trainer working youth groups in North Kamagambo.

• A North Kamagambo Youth Representative meeting was held in November. 14 members attended representing the 8 youth groups who wish to have Lwala Community Alliance assist with seed capital in loans with flexible payment periods.

RMF Reunites 2nd Year Nursing Student Peter Atiep with his Family

written by Dr. Taban Martin Vitale

Peter Atiep is a South Sudanese national from Upper Nile State, Baliet County. A second year nursing student of Juba College of Nursing and Midwifery (JCONAM), Peter is married to Ajak Abe Nyok and they have 5 children (3 girls and 2 boys): Abuk Atiep Kur, a 10-year-old girl; Awol Atiep Kur, an 8-year-old boy; Monyuat Atiep Kur, a 6-year-old boy; Nyalueth Atiep Kur, a 3-year-old girl and Nyanlong Atiep Kur a baby girl of 3 months.

When the fight broke out in Juba in mid-December 2013, Peter and his family were in his home town Baliet, which was overrun by the opposition forces on January 11th, 2014. As everyone took cover and ran for their safety, Peter was separated from his wife and they were not able to locate each other at that time. Peter ran with the first three children (Abuk, Awol and Monyuat) and his wife ran with the 3-year-old child and the baby. Peter finally made his way to Palogue (Malut County in Upper Nile State), then to Juba on January 19th, 2014 and immediately proceeded to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. He left the children there with a relative and returned to Juba to continue with his studies at JCONAM. Fortunately, Peter managed to connect with his wife who took refuge in Renk County (Upper Nile State) and requested she come to Palogue where there is an operational airstrip with regular Dar Petroleum flights. Peter desperately wanted to reunite with his wife and children but was unable to afford to airlift his wife/children from Palogue to Juba and to Kakuma to reunite with the three children.

During this critical moment, RMF stepped in and facilitated the transportation of Peter’s wife and the children from Palogue to Juba by air on March 28th, 2014 and then to Kakuma refugee camp by road on March 30th, 2014. Peter confirmed to RMF the arrival of his wife and children to Kakuma.

March 28th, 2014 was a turning point for Peter: On seeing his wife and children at Juba International Airport, the depressed Peter was full of joy and his wife and 3-year-old girl were equally delighted to see him. RMF staff then drove them to New Site (suburb of Juba) to the house of a friend of Peter’s where they rested before leaving for Kenya.

Peter gathered the family members housing his wife and said: God bless RMF for doing all this for his family and I pray that RMF grows bigger and bigger. I now know that we as South Sudanese, we are ONE people; it does not matter where you originate from and one’s ethnicity should not be a factor when delivering services. He couldn’t believe this, his fellow South Sudanese from different regions and ethnicities coordinated all this and made sure his wife and children made it safely to Juba and are now going to facilitate their travel to Kenya, Kakuma Refugee Camp. He now believes in unity and that every individual is a child of God: “God bless you all, the donors and RMF as a whole. Now, I will concentrate on my studies, and will keep updating you about the condition of my family. Thanks and God bless you.”

L to R: Peter’s wife Ajak Aben Nyak and friend who received them at her home in Juba, carrying the 3-month-old baby

3-year-old Nyalueth Atiep looks malnourished due to poor feeding during the crisis

L to R: Peter Atiep holding his child Nyalueth and his wife Ajak Aben Nyok; all are happy about the reunion

Peter, his wife, child and Dr. Taban Martin Vitale

Ajak Aben and Nyalueth visit with Emily, a medical student from Juba University who went to see them

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CEO Dr. Martina Fuchs’ 2014 Trip to Uganda: School Support

When the Kenyan refugees arrived at the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in 2008, there was very little support in terms of school fees for their children, and there was no nursery school at the settlement. RMF stepped forward to establish a school support program to cover fees and supplies for Nursery, Primary and Secondary School children of the Kenyan refugee community at Kiryandongo. In the subsequent years, students from (South) Sudan, Congo, Burundi and Rwanda have been accepted into our program as well. RMF pays a portion of the tuition fees, school uniforms, school supplies, and exam fees for the students of parents unable to afford the fees. We also cover the cost and travel expenses for the final examination tests for the senior high school students. Up to 1,602 students have been sponsored per month.

The refugee children we currently support are from Kenya, Congo, Burundi, Sudan and attend the following schools in the settlement: Beth Cole Nursery School; Day Star Nursery School; Arnold Primary School; Can Rom Primary School; Panyadoli Secondary School. We also continued to provide funding for the annual registration of candidates in Senior Level Four and Senior Level Six that are in our sponsorship program and facilitated candidates taking their national exams in the city of Masindi.

The massive influx of South Sudanese refugee children has created an additional tremendous need. Many of these children are severely traumatized and need urgent psychological trauma support. In many of the class rooms we visited on February 24 and 25, South Sudanese children outnumbered all others. Their stories are heartbreaking. To help, please visit our website.

South Sudanese Refugee Students at the Kiryandongo Resettlement Camp as of February 24, 2014:

Dr. Martina Fuchs and school children

Dr. Martina Fuchs and school children

South Sudanese refugee students telling their stories of how their family members were killed in front of their eyes. It was heartbreaking to see these young men trying to hold back their tears.

On February 25 we continued to visit RMF projects in Uganda, our Vocational Training Institute in Kiryandongo; our projects in Buwate and Kampala. On February 28, we left for Eastern Uganda where RMF has school projects in Tororo.

CEO Dr. Martina Fuchs’ 2014 Trip to Uganda: Panyadoli Health Centers

PANYADOLI HEALTH CENTER III – KIRYANDONGO REFUGEE CAMP

This Level III Health Center’s target population is about 60,000 residents in the Bweyale region, including 41,000 Ugandan IDPs, Bududa survivors, and Refugees from Kenya, Sudan, Congo, Burundi and Rwanda which are the main target population. In the past, the large influxes included that of 10,000 new Ugandan IDPs in October 2010 and another 15,000 joined the Kiryandongo Resettlement Camp at the end of May 2011.

The Panyadoli Health Center treats as many as 3,000 patients per month, for a wide variety of issues including malaria, malnutrition, maternal and child care, and HIV/AIDS; cases requiring tertiary care are referred to the closest county hospital.

With an additional influx of more than 12,000 refugees since December 2013 (as of February 24), and an expected additional 40,000 coming, resources are seriously strained.

Severe acute malnutrition cases have not been infrequent in the past, with deaths being reported in children whose parents came too late for treatment. These numbers have now been rising with many of the South Sudanese refugee children already arriving acutely malnourished.

RMF’s consistent supply of medicine and supplies to the health center has also enabled the running of a smaller second clinic (Panyadoli Health Center II) at a further away location in the settlement and enables the Panyadoli Health Center to handle more complicated cases. In addition to the continuous medical support, RMF has also has maintained the solar powered water pumps, pipes, and taps that supply all the clinic buildings and that we had installed in a previous year. Our vision continues to be to expand and upgrade the Panyadoli Health Center’s capacity and services so it can function as a Level 4 Hospital. With the recent influx of new patients, this has become more urgent. (Warning: some of the pictures below are graphic. Not suitable for everyone.)

maternity building at Panyadoli Health Center III

maternity building at Panyadoli Health Center III

patients

patients

RMF team members, Clinical Officer Simon Opieto, nurse trainees

RMF team members, Clinical Officer Simon Opieto, nurse trainees

17-month-old, severely malnourished child

17-month-old, severely malnourished child

Another malnourished child in the Malnutrition Ward of Panyadoli Health Centre III. A large percentage of the refugee children arrive significantly malnourished.

Another malnourished child in the Malnutrition Ward of Panyadoli Health Centre III. A large percentage of the refugee children arrive significantly malnourished.

PANYADOLI HEALTH CENTER II

RMF’s consistent supply of medicine and supplies has also enabled the running of a smaller second clinic at a further away location in the settlement, Panyadoli Health Center II. This health center is now getting additional attention and needs additional support since many of the South Sudanese refugees are being resettled in close proximity to this health center.

Patients on their way to the Health Center

Patients on their way to the Health Center

Panyadoli Health Center II, OPM, Dr. Martina Fuchs and RMF Team

Panyadoli Health Center II, OPM, Dr. Martina Fuchs and RMF Team

 

CEO Dr. Martina Fuchs’ 2014 Trip to Uganda: Kiryandongo Refugee Camp

In the evening on February 23 RMF’s South Sudan and Uganda teams parted ways and Martina and crew drove to the Kiryandongo Refugee/ Resettlement Camp.

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RMF has been serving Ugandans, Ugandan IDPs and refugees from other African nations since April 2008, when the RMF team first arrived from the US to the Mulanda Refugee Transit Centre, giving emergency assistance to the large influx of Kenyan Refugees escaping political violence in Kenya.  This emergency help was initially in the form of psychological trauma and social support, school fee subsidies, clothing, care kits and seeds for the refugees to start their own small gardens.  During this initial phase of emergency assistance, help was also provided to the surrounding local Ugandan communities of Tororo through the Mella Health Centre, St. Anthony’s Hospital, the Mama Kevina Comprehensive School, and the youth in the slums surrounding the Mama Kevina School.

When the Kenyan refugees were eventually transferred from the Mulanda Transit Centre to the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in mid-2008, the RMF team followed and continued to provide school support, medicines and medical supplies, and other projects as needed.  RMF also continued to maintain its presence in Tororo.

Since those early days, RMF has greatly expanded its support and development initiatives at the Kiryandongo Settlement to both Ugandan IDPs and refugees from numerous other African nations with Vocational Training, Water System Repair and upgrades, School Fee Support, Support of Kiryandongo’s Panyadoli Health Center with continuous medicine and medical supplies as well as personnel support; RMF also continues its support to the Mama Kevina Boarding School and Orphanage, and is now also constructing additional buildings on the school’s campus.

Also in Uganda, RMF runs youth projects in Buwate and has supported refugees from the DRC, and renovated and completely equipped a new hospital in Nakalanda.

The Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in Bweyale, Uganda, is a UNHCR managed refugee settlement that provides shelter, land and support for more than 25,000, comprised of Ugandan IDPs and refugees from Kenya, Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and (South) Sudan.  RMF has partnered with UNHCR in supporting Kiryandongo and the greater surrounding community of Bweyale (an additional 30,000 residents) with health care, education and vocational training since 2008.  Our vision at Kiryandongo has always been to help the refugee communities get back on their feet through better health, education, and new work skills/vocational training so that they are equipped to leave the Refugee Camps and be able to support themselves.

Since the end of December and as of February 24, 2014, Kiryandongo has received an influx of more than 12,000 refugees from South Sudan, and is expecting as many as 40,000 more.  These new refugees will be in need of health care at the onsite RMF supported 2 health centers, education funding/support for their children at the settlement schools, and other livelihood and water/food/supply support.

There are horrific stories from so many people whose parents, children, loved ones killed in front of their eyes. I was very impressed how the Uganda OPM reinforces (as RMF does) that in the camp there are no tribes, there are just people living together now and trying to help each other. And it works.

Unaccompanied refugee children

Unaccompanied refugee children

CEO Dr. Martina Fuchs’ 2014 Visit to Uganda: Adjumani District, West Nile

On February 22 Dr. Fuchs and crew crossed the border into Uganda an drove to Adjumani, West Nile. Sunday morning RMF’s South Sudan and Uganda team leaders met in Adjumani to assess the Adjumani District refugee situation

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We met with the Settlement Commander at the Office of the Prime Minister’s Refugee Desk in Pakele and briefed him about RMF’s work in South Sudan and Uganda, where the refugee situation is becoming more and more overwhelming. RMF’s main areas of intervention would be healthcare and education.

We visited 2 of the 5 camps in the area, Nyumazi 1 and Ayuilo, each of them with more than 20,000 refugees from South Sudan, mainly Jonglei and Unity States. More than 65% of refugees registered here are school age children, many of them unaccompanied minors. It is projected that the number of refugees in West Nile will continue to rise to 70,000 or more. 40,000 refugees from West Nile alone are expected to move on to Kiryandongo Refugee Camp, where RMF has been working since 2008.

13-year-old boy from Bor who doesn't know if his mother is alive

13-year-old boy from Bor who doesn’t know if his mother is alive

The situation in the camps is very poor; there are no proper medical facilities, schools, clean drinking water, bedding supplies, or mosquito nets. Our team visited the reception centre in Nyumazi and the two settlement camps (Nyumazi 1 and Ayuilo) and concluded that the challenges facing the two refugee camps are the following:

• Lack of Health Care, especially maternal child healthcare

• Inadequate Clean Water: Water points established by agencies working in the camp sites are only one crest tank of 12,000L capacity which is very small given the huge population to serve. Additional bore holes/wells needed

• Lack of Schools: There are no schools in the camps and thousands of children, the majority of them traumatized, just roam around.

• Inadequate food for the number of refugees. A large percentage of children arrived malnourished.

• Inadequate shelter: Refugees are given one plastic sheet to erect a shelter, which in the already starting rainy season will be useless against exposure to infectious diseases, and is unsafe for women and children.

• Poor hygiene and sanitation: Open defecation will be a serious cause of diseases.

The majority of the refugees are surviving on small food rations from the World Food Program. The situation is even worse for unaccompanied minors, the elderly and persons with disabilities because there are no support programs or interventions in place for them.

From interviews with refugees, over 90% arrived in Uganda with the clothes on their back and no other supplies. To avoid the high risks of loss of life, large scale medical and supply intervention is acutely needed in the shortest time possible.

RMF South Sudan and Uganda team leaders

RMF South Sudan and Uganda team leaders

refugee children, many of them are unaccompanied minors

refugee children, many of them are unaccompanied minors

meeting with camp leadership

meeting with camp leadership

We had meetings with the camp leadership in both of the camps we visited, and I was impressed by their clarity, and concrete and realistic suggestions.

So many of the refugees’ stories are horrific. There are countless children who have seen their parents being killed in front of their eyes. A large percentage of these children are now in the refugee camps, unaccompanied by an adult.

The camp leadership requested as the most urgent:

  • Healthcare, especially Maternal Child Healthcare
  • Psychological Trauma Support
  • School for the Children

Since many of the children are now orphans, school would help to give them structure and help with the horrific trauma they experienced.

Many of the refugees are professionals, teachers, doctors, university professors, which means South Sudanese could provide trauma support to South Sudanese. The camp leadership’s suggestions were very practical and economic:

“Let’s find the teachers in the camp, tents and ask for books/stationery/supplies and start school as soon as possible.”

Tomorrow: Read about the situation at Kiryandongo Refugee/Resettlement Camp and the Panyadoli Health Center there.

CEO Dr. Martina Fuchs’ 2014 Visit to South Sudan: Nimule Hospital and IDP Camps

On February 22 Martina and crew drove from Juba to the South Sudan/Uganda border to visit Nimule Hospital and Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps on the South Sudan side, and refugee camps on the Ugandan side of the border.

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NIMULE HOSPITAL

Nimule Hospital started in the early 1970s as a clinic and was upgraded to a hospital in 1983. Interventions are in 3 main areas: Healthcare, Nutrition and HIV/AIDS. The bed capacity of Nimule Hospital is 174 beds, which is very small considering it serves the entire population of Magwi County (287,000 people), travelers from Uganda, and other neighboring counties in Central Equatoria State, and now in addition the more than 50,000 South Sudanese IDPs relocated to Nimule. Nimule Hospital departments and services include: OPD; MCH, ART, TB, and Sleeping Sickness Programs; OR, Pediatrics, Maternity Department; one ambulance for referral cases.

Since RMF South Sudan was asked to support Nimule Hospital, we met with Medical Director Dr. David Nyuma and his team.

Nimule

Nimule

Nimule Hospital

Nimule Hospital

Maternity Ward

Maternity Ward

Newborn Twins

Newborn Twins

Ambulance at Nimule Hospital

Ambulance at Nimule Hospital

Midwife Agnes, one of JCONAM's graduates, employed by Nimule Hospital

Midwife Agnes, one of JCONAM’s graduates, employed by Nimule Hospital

Dr. Martina Fuchs, Dr. Taban Martin Vitale: the RMF team brought gifts for Nimule Hospital

Dr. Martina Fuchs, Dr. Taban Martin Vitale: the RMF team brought gifts for Nimule Hospital

Dr. Taban Martin Vitale and Okang Wilson Ezekiel with the Nimule Hospital team

Dr. Taban Martin Vitale and Okang Wilson Ezekiel with the Nimule Hospital team

IDP CAMPS, SOUTH SUDAN

We continued to IDP camps at Hai Kanisa Church, at the South Sudan side of the border, for a rapid assessment of the IDP situation. We were accompanied by 2 friends of RMF’s South Sudan team for translations, Richard Amada and Chol Abraham.

Their stories were desperate and sad. “They came, killed everyone, burnt down houses; they did not spare even my old Mother …. “ One woman speaks as tears roll down her cheek.

We found almost exclusively women and children, in 115 °F, without shelter or shade. They didn’t even have enough mats for all of the children to sleep on. It had started to rain at night, and they tried to squeeze into a nearby container to find shelter. The mothers didn’t have enough food for themselves and their children, and reported that many of the children had been getting sick with diarrhea.

Many visitors had come by and taken photos, but none of them had returned. Many of the women were very angry, understandably. It is always a judgment call to document the situation with photos, since we have witnessed so many times the same stories: Photos are taken; promises are made, but not kept. On the other hand, to document and share the despair and need is almost impossible to do without photos.

We had about $350 in cash and decided that we would try to help with at least something, so they wouldn’t feel so completely abandoned.

Dr. Martina Fuchs with IDPs at Kanisa Church, near Nimule, South Sudan

Dr. Martina Fuchs with IDPs at Kanisa Church, near Nimule, South Sudan

Container the IDPs tried to use as a shelter from night rains

Container the IDPs tried to use as a shelter from night rains

We bought posho, beans, cooking oil and papyrus mats in Nimule, and brought them to the IDPs:

Their joy was incredible and humbling. They started to pray and thank God that he made our gift happen for them. The most touching transformation was that of one very outspoken, angry, older woman. Her smile and gratitude was beyond words. She expressed that our coming back made her believe in God again.

Tomorrow: News from the refugee camps in Uganda.

CEO Dr. Martina Fuchs’ 2014 Visit to South Sudan

I just received Martina’s report from her trip to South Sudan and Uganda from February 12 to March 2. There is a lot of information and many, many photos so I’m going to split the report into several posts. Check back all this week for more coverage!

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From February 12-22 Martina visited the Outpatient Department/Accident & Emergency Department at Juba Teaching Hospital to evaluate the situation and needs with Dr Mayen Achiek, Assistant Professor of Surgery, College of Medicine, Consultant Surgeon, Juba Teaching Hospital. The hospital is overcrowded as a result of the current crisis so patients are sleeping two to a bed and even on the floor; there is one nurse for up to 40 patients.

We also followed up on RMF’s projects in South Sudan, i.e. Juba College of Nursing and Midwifery; Juba Teaching Hospital projects and held follow up meetings with Master Trainers of the Respectful Maternity Care Training Pilot Program and with the team, partners, and stakeholders, in addition to meetings with the Ministry of Health and JTH.

With respect to RMF’s emergency supply shipment from January 10, 2014, Dr. Wani Lolik Lado, Director General, JTH stated, “The supplies provided by RMF in January are what still keeps the hospital stable now. We know we can always count on RMF to deliver.”

RMF Team and Dr. Lolik Lado

RMF Team and Dr. Lolik Lado

We also visited the wards and storage facilities to follow up on medicines, medical supplies and equipment delivered on January 10, 2014. I was impressed with the careful and high impact use:

Over one million people have been displaced as a result of the ongoing conflict in South Sudan; 803,200 have been displaced within the country. The people of South Sudan need your help, so please consider making a donation to Juba Teaching Hospital by clicking here, and check back tomorrow for an update on the Pediatric Ward.

Shipment #2 of Medical Supplies Reaches Philippines

excerpt from a report by Tita Dumagsa, Tony Dumagsa and Jonathan White

On February 26th, Real Medicine Foundation received and distributed a second donation of medical supplies. International Relief & Development (IRD) generously provided the shipment as part of our ongoing Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda relief efforts.

Dr. Minerva Millor and her team, Dr. James Najarro of Bantayan Hospital, Ms. Imelda Calungsod of Bogo City Provincial Hospital, Mr. Mansueto Luche, the Hospital Administrative Director of Daan Bantayan Hospital, several midwives and 20 support workers unloaded a 40-foot container of general medical supplies, including much needed dressings, surgical kits and IV supplies, among other items.

RMF Philippines Project Directors Tony and Tita Dumagsa, Board Member and VP of CITAA, Engr. Charlie Ng, and CITAA Board Member Engr. Marno Arcenas, whose car and services were used to transport the shipment to Bogo, acted as representatives for RMF and IRD.

The large crew of volunteers was able to unload the container in record time — they started at 8:30am and finished by 9:36am!

RMF was able to use the Bogo Sports Complex again as a staging area to hold and divide up medical supplies among the three hospital stakeholders: Cebu Provincial Hospital-Bogo City, Bantayan District Hospital and Daanbantayan District Hospital, all located in the typhoon-affected area of the Visayas. These hospitals have been overwhelmed with a significant increase in patients and dwindling supplies following Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.

Tony and Tita Dumagsa and Charlie Ng received many words of thanks and appreciation from the stakeholders, aides and workers for the donation, as well as for the previous shipment of pharmaceuticals from IRD/RMF. Everyone was happy to receive these supplies for their hospitals, patients and communities.

One of the doctors noted that thanks to the shipment of 5 boxes of disposable sheets patients could now stay local for surgery. Typically patients who must undergo surgery try to go to Cebu City, unless it is an emergency, because the local hospitals were not equipped to handle even minor surgeries. The disposable sheets will also be used for bed and examination table covers.

IMG_4326 IMG_433020140225_204322 IMG_4333

 

Uganda: Panyadoli Health Center Provides Treatment and Hope for Refugees

Recent fighting has driven more than 65,000 refugees from DRC into Uganda and an update from RMF’s Panyadoli Health Center in Uganda confirms “the situation continues to be desperate, especially for small children and pregnant women.” RMF has provided a large supply of medicines and supplies to Bundibugyo Refugee Settlement and we have been asked to continue supplying medicine that is not being provided by other NGOs. Urgent priorities include additional shelter, water sources, communal kitchens, vaccination clinics for children under five, as well as support to existing health centers.

But there is good news despite the gravity of the situation. Since RMF started supplying medication, equipment and supplies to the health center, patients and the local community at large are thankful for the services provided but also for positively impacting the community attitude. RMF has been able to provide critical support through the Panyadoli Health Center and patients are getting the attention they need.

Nyamatora Charity, for example, a 2-year-old Ugandan national/IDP living with her parents in the resettlement community was admitted to Panyadoli with severe malaria. After three days as an inpatient Nyamatora Charity was discharged following successful treatment. Her mother says, “Ever since we were brought to this settlement as internally displaced people, we have never seen any problems in medical services in this health center. This is especially true when Real Medicine Foundation started supplying medical equipment like drugs, blankets, mosquito nets and many other items. That’s why I myself always have hope of getting fair treatment in Panyadoli Health Centre. What I have loved here most is the work force in all departments are supported by Real Medicine Foundation by employing other staff in different departments has eased the work load of the hospital. Thank you to those who donate funds to Real Medicine Foundation in support of this health center.”

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