Help for Children
Uganda’s children, especially those in rural and remote areas of the country, are especially vulnerable to the lack of accessible medical care.
In some areas of Uganda, children receive few vaccines to prevent life-threatening illnesses such as tetanus and measles. One of our interests is to work with the Uganda Ministry of Health to provide vaccinations in some of these remote, medically underserved areas.
Suubi Medical centre’s dream is to help children in Busu village and the areas where we work not only survive but thrive. Our health care programs are staffed by local Ugandan doctors and nurses year-round. We hope with time to have visiting paediatric teams to help by holding outreach clinics just for children in the most impoverished areas of Bulamagi county and the remote rural communities near Busu. They will screen children for malnutrition, provide de-worming medications, and treat acute illness.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL & SURGICAL FUND
In Uganda especially Iganga district and Busu where we work, medical care is a privilege, not a right; most cannot afford care and are too poor to be well.
We would like to set up an emergency fund cover the medical and surgical costs for children with life threatening illnesses or in need of surgery referred by our teams to our partner district hospitals.
This emergency fund is crucial to Suubi Medical centre’s work. Every team is faced with two or three children who come to the paediatric outreach clinics who are in need of advanced care. Several children we see are victims of trauma and require emergency treatment for broken bones or wounds. Others are severely malnourished or very ill and in critical need of emergency treatment.
Baby/Child Check-up and Vaccination Program
Suubi Medical centre provides free baby and child check-ups to children in the Busu village area, where each child is given a comprehensive exam which includes assessment of general health, measurement of height and weight for children under five and consultation for any children requiring medical care. If specialty care is indicated, the children are referred to one of our medical facilities, dental or ophthalmology clinics. Each child is given a three month supply of vitamins, and receives appropriate medications for deworming and skin infestation. The check-ups also include the provision of a critical series of childhood vaccinations over a two-year period, including oral polio, Diphtheria-Pertussis, and Tetanus, and Measles and Rubella.
These check-ups take place at both the Suubi clinics and at the vaccination outreach trips to surrounding Busu villages, staffed by visiting volunteer teams of paediatric and family practice physicians and nurses working side by side with the Iganga district and the Ugandan medical staff at SMC. The outreach trips can typically treat 600-700 children per journey. During these check-ups, SMC provides a de-worming program and has provided medications to almost every child in the region on at least one occasion, leading to significant improvement in child health.
Nutritional Support for Severely Malnourished Children
While the villages of Busu, Masaba, Wante, Iwaamu and other are farming communities and have been for well over 100 years and does fare better than then many communities in the Eastern regions of Uganda, childhood malnutrition remains a major concern. Besides the efforts of SMC, there are no other nutritional supplement services in the villages. SMC provides some nutritional supplement program for severely malnourished children in the villages. During Child check-ups, children who appear malnourished are inducted into the program after being screened and provided with medical attention. This program is a properly monitored nutritional support supplement for severely malnourished children utilizing a locally grown Ugandan peanut butter called Odi. The distribution is regulated and children receive regular follow-ups to gauge the effectiveness of the supplement. Suubi Medical Centre is looking for funds to expand these programs.
In addition, SMC educates mothers on how to get the most nutritional value from the locally available food sources with particular attention paid to the locally produced high calorie/high protein Porridge.