KIHEFO promotes local initiated solutions to fight disease, ignorance and poverty in southwestern Uganda
Uganda has such a beautiful landscape and i am already falling in love with this place.
Time check it is 6:40 pm of the 31st January, 2016 and the KIHEFO team is eagerly waiting to receive the Bridge to Health team of 31 medical and dental doctors from Canada, who were coming into Uganda through Kigali. 26 minutes later, 2 coasters and 3 vans appear to be approaching in a
proceeding to the KIHEFO Apartments. They are received by the young energetic and entertaining dancers of KIHEFO Youth Cultural Group who show them how the Bakiga do it and their traditional dance. I should say they are indeed a lively youthful group and most of the visitors were left amazed.
Camps began on the 1st of Feb 2016 at Rubira P/S and the team set out for the field in the afternoon. The KIHEFO doctors and team set out in the morning for registration and preparing the camp. There are always big turn ups at the camps and the first day the doctors were able to see over 600 patients. Always keen to the bone, there were new cases that attracted the attention of the medical doctors and through interaction with the patients they were able to find out what the cause was and how long it has taken.
There are many people in the Kigezi Region that still live below the poverty level, that is a
dollar a day to be precise. These cannot access medicine and the health facilities are far from their reach thus feel deprived to medical care. Some of the patients had diseases that had been in existence for more than four years but still no treatment had been sought. Even the tablets and medicine in the clinics and drug shops are expensive or not affordable to them. The aim of these camps is to bring the medical services to the poor communities and free of charge. The local people were easily mobilsed through their churches and the mobilisation was good basing on the high turn up.
At the camps, free antenatal services are provided which include scan, HIV testing, Eye
Clinic, Dental Unit that did extraction, filling, cementing, conservation, hygiene and cleaning; there was counselling and guidance from the KIHEFO counsellors. There was a pharmacy which distributed free medicine and drugs to the patients who had been thoroughly examined by the experienced doctors. It is not every day that these people get free medication and examination. For eight days, these medical and dental teams plus support staff made sure that the local population got the best medication. everyone that appeared at the camps was treated and in some camps, there were few cases where referrals were made to Kigongi clinic. The most ground breaking event was Cancer Screening training that was held at the KIHEFO Training Centre. Cervical cancer tends to occur in midlife in
Uganda. Most cases are found in women younger than 50. It rarely develops in women younger than 20. Many older women do not realize that the risk of developing cervical cancer is still present as they age. More than 15% of cases of cervical cancer are found in women over 65.
“God bless the Canadian Doctors for coming here and saving lives. I don’t know what we
would do without them.” Tumwebaze Mary, 49 (who was referred under critical condition from Nangara). There are still many poor people outside there who would wish that one day they would also receive the required medical care. To the Kabale community, these camps will always restore hope where there seems no hope. All the KIHEFO Staff and Support staff that were with us during the camps, mwebale mooning and God Bless you. Every year we are always counting the days till we see you next year. We appreciate the efforts and assistance rendered towards the success of these camps from Lebovic Enterprises, Tacc Developments, Apotex, Rotary International, Ethiopian Airways and Kigezi Healthcare Foundation.
Malagala Abdallah Hakim