REACH Bwindi took part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge for the first time this year. This is the UK’s biggest match funding campaign and runs during the first week of December. To raise money for the challenge trustees and supporters decided to swim outdoors every day for the week, in a ‘Big Dip’ challenge. We were so impressed with the dedication and determination of our swimmers. They swam in rivers, the sea, reservoirs, an outdoor pool, and a lake, in sunshine, rain, sleet and snow!
We raised an amazing £5548! Thank you very much to everyone who generously donated during the week. This will go a long way to support the expansion of community health services at the hospital. There is already a well-established community outreach service at the hospital, focusing on maternal and child health, nutrition, and mental health. The hospital plan to include non-communicable diseases within these outreaches. Poorly controlled diabetes or blood pressure can lead to devastating effects for people, their families, and communities, such as stroke, kidney failure and heart disease. It is so important that the conditions are diagnosed early and managed effectively before any complications arise, which is what the outreaches will aim to do. A community rather than hospital-based focus for the service will allow equal access to care for those who cannot afford to travel to the hospital. It is estimated that one outreach will cost approximately £50. The main catchment area of the hospital has 101 villages in 3 sub-counties. The money raised this week should help the hospital reach all 101 villages initially.