KIHEFO promotes local initiated solutions to fight disease, ignorance and poverty in southwestern Uganda
One of KIHEFO’s major challenges is to fight ignorance and better educate people about their healthcare.
Over the weekend, KIHEFO held a health outreach clinic at a church in Kabale, Uganda. Eight month old Kevin was brought by his parents because he had been suffering from diarrhoea. But on seeing Kevin, KIHEFO’s doctors realised that he was also suffering from malnutrition.
He was quickly admitted to the KIHEFO clinic where he is now making a good recovery. Though it has been difficult for his parents to balance their time between Kevin in the clinic and their other children back home.
The case shows how KIHEFO’s intervention can help to save young lives. Malnutrition can be devastating if it is not noticed and treated quickly. The best cure is prevention; when parents know how to feed their children appropriately.
But the health outreach clinic over the weekend demonstrated the wider challenges that KIHEFO faces in educating people.
When people feel unwell, they often turn to religious leaders or traditional healers before they see anyone else. This can be a problem when people stop taking medication, in the belief that they will be cured through these alternative treatments.
KIHEFO’s approach is all about partnership. These different types of treatment are not mutually exclusive; they can work together. There is no problem when people use traditional treatments or play an active role in church life as long as they also take their medication.
This is why KIHEFO works with religious communities. They have become an essential platform for getting KIHEFO’s message into the community. They host outreach clinics and advertise them when one is held in the local area. KIHEFO also has a very close relationship with traditional healers, who now refer patients onto KIHEFO if they cannot treat them themselves.
These partnerships help to ensure that KIHEFO’s doctors can see ‘hard to reach’ patients and by working with the community, it can improve health education.