KIHEFO promotes local initiated solutions to fight disease, ignorance and poverty in southwestern Uganda
Last month, KIHEFO was pleased to sign the final draft of a Memorandum of Understanding with Mbarara University (MUST) and initiate the two Ugandan institutions working hand-in-hand to provide university medical and nursing students with the opportunity to engage in rural healthcare facilitation and research.
From 2013 to 2023, KIHEFO will be welcoming university students from Mbarara University, including medical, nursing, and pharmacy students, to Kabale, Uganda, where they’ll join KIHEFO’s team of staff and volunteers to provide healthcare services. Students are housed at KIHEFO’s Kabale Apartments, run by Kigezi Tours, and gain hands-on working experience at the Kigongi General Clinic, the Nutrition & Rehabilitation Centre, the HIV/AIDS Outreach Centre, and rural outreach camps.
KIHEFO Hosts the First Team of Mbarara Students
Shortly after signing the MOU with Mbarara University, KIHEFO received the first team of university students in Kabale. A team of five Ugandan students and two Canadian students arrived from Mbarara, equipped with their luggage and cooking gear, and prepared to spend four weeks learning on the ground with KIHEFO’s team.
Students represented diverse faculties of study, including medicine, nursing, nutrition, pharmacy, and even veterinarian sciences. From the beginning of their stay with KIHEFO, the students were required to, collectively, identify a ‘problem’ in the region, and together, develop an action-plan to address the said problem.
Students Focus on Malnutrition in Kabale
After a week of learning at the General Clinic, and other KIHEFO health facilities in Kabale, the students decided they would focus on malnutrition as a community problem. Their team spent the following week conducting nutrition surveys through a series of home-visits with families living in Muyumbu, located approximately 15 km outside of Kabale, to gain a better of understanding of the situation at a village level. Students asked questions regarding diet (what foods were consumed, and how often), agriculture, health and education. At an all-day outreach session, they measured 130 children in Muyumbu for weight, height and arm circumference.
Over the next two weeks, Mbarara students will be analyzing data collected, and returning to Muyumbu to provide information on nutrition and agriculture to families to help them better nourish their children and prevent severe malnutrition.
Increasing Capacity for Community Based Research in Kabale, Uganda
KIHEFO is thrilled to move forward in partnership with Mbarara University, and increase capacity for conducting Community-Based Research (CBR) in Kabale, Uganda – ultimately with the goal to collect information that will better inform healthcare delivery and practices working in rural, low-resource settings.
To learn more about KIHEFO and how you can become involved – click here.