We are pleased to share this Christmas letter from Dr Birungi, the Executive Director from Bwindi Community Hospital. If you wish to make a donation towards this appeal please use our fundraising page and mark your donation for the Christmas appeal.
This is the season to reflect back on 2019 with grateful hearts and share with you what we have achieved together by way of saving lives and improving quality of life for many.
Our goal is to attain a healthy and productive community free from preventable disease and with excellent health services accessible to all.
Our journey dates back to 2000 when we started reaching out to the Batwa indigenous people where 42% of the children born would die before celebrating their first birthday.
The health situation of the general population was not any better either and so our community health interventions have been all inclusive.
Here are some achievements;
- Patients presenting with malaria in our catchment area have reduced to <7% compared to 45% 10 years ago.
- Malnutrition has also reduced to less than 1% compared to the national prevalence of 11%. The prevalence of malnutrition was 20% in 2008.
- Mothers giving birth in a health facility increased from 65% in 2013 to 95% in 2019.
- Under-5 deaths reduced by 68% from 115 per 1000 live births to 36 per 1000 live births (2018)
- We are piloting mobile-based interventions for health education aimed at improving referral and to providing real-time interventions in the communities. 73,000 people will benefit through this intervention.
- All the Batwa settlements (14 settlements) are visited every month with focus on Batwa nutrition screening and rehabilitation, malaria sensitisation, deworming and vitamin A supplementation, sanitation and hygiene, alcohol rehabilitation, HIV prevention. Batwa are members of the Community Health Committee. 890 Batwa benefit through this outreach programme.
- We have developed a 525-community health volunteers who support our interventions and 23 of these are of indigenous Batwa community members.
- We have implemented Alcoholics Anonymous programmes within the catchment area. There are currently four active AA meetings which are supported by the department.
- We are supporting more than 2500 people with mental health needs through the community based mental health program. 20 outreaches are conducted every month to reach out to these clients.
- Some of our interventions have been shared in scientific journals for wider dissemination
- Over 26,000 people are enrolled in the eQuality health insurance, a local health access plan for the community around Bwindi. People contribute approximately $5 annually for their subscription.
- In 2012 almost 60% of admissions to our adult ward were due to HIV related conditions. This has been reduced to less than 2% currently and the new infection rate has reduced to 2.4% compared to the national 7%.
All these and many more have been made possible by our teams going out to the communities for health education and disease prevention interventions.
We are immensely grateful to all those that supported us to purchase a vehicle at a time HIV/AIDS was ravaging our community. Having served for over 10 years now in a most challenging environment, we hope to buy a new truck to continue with proven community health interventions.
A land cruiser, hardtop, similar to the one we have used costs 70,000 USD.
We are happy with any amount of contribution towards this cause to make this world a better place for everyone. Would you consider making a donation towards this cause?
Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2020.
Dr. Birungi Rwamatware Mutahunga.
Bwindi Community Hospital