Uganda: Panyadoli Healthcare Project
Demonstration Gardens Empower Community to Prevent Malnutrition: Q1 2018
July 24, 2018
Naku Charles Lwanga and Alphonse Mwanamwolho
Summary of Activities
- RMF procured and delivered sufficient medications and medical supplies to the Panyadoli Health Centres. These were delivered on time throughout the reporting quarter.
- RMF procured and delivered sufficient cleaning supplies and tools, maintaining a highly motivated, well-equipped team of cleaners who continued to keep the health centers clean and neat.
- Provided sufficient laboratory supplies so that patients requiring laboratory services are tested accordingly.
- Intensified follow-up for 35 TB patients who had defaulted during treatment. 6 were located, and their treatment was reinstated.
- Recruited new staff members to assist in the new Operating Theatre, Dental department, and Maternity ward. These new staff members have received orientation and training on RMF’s culture of respectful health care.
- Successfully conducted community sensitization on the prevention of jiggers and treated those affected. More than 105 people were treated for jiggers.
- Conducted training for 22 health workers on nutrition assessment, counseling, and support for people living with HIV/AIDS or TB.
- 26 staff members were trained on vitamin and mineral supplementation.
- All patients that came to the health facilities received treatment, and those whose conditions were beyond the capacity of the health facilities were referred accordingly.
- Integrated services that benefit both refugees and the host community were continuously provided. For example, RMF’s surgeon works certain days at the nearby district hospital.
- Provided an emergency response to measles when an outbreak was detected in the settlement. The victims were well treated and the outbreak contained. There has not been another outbreak.
- Carried out Continuous Medical Education (CME) sessions for all medical and support staff at the health facilities, so that team members keep sharing and increasing their knowledge.
- Strengthened data collection and processing in all health centers of the settlement by ensuring that every health center has an RMF staff member in charge of data.
- Continued to facilitate integrated outreaches. During these outreaches, community members are empowered with preventive health strategies and knowledge concerning malaria, HIV/AIDS, and more.
- Continued tracing patients on ARV treatment and following up with those who have defaulted so that they can be restarted on ART.
- In partnership with the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), ART clinic staff members were given additional training on HIV/AIDS management.
- Facilitated the disease surveillance team to strengthen disease surveillance activities in the settlement and surrounding areas, especially with the measles outbreak.
- Medical screening of new refugees at Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement was effectively performed during the reporting period.
- Facilitated UNHCR and partners’ coordination meetings both in the settlement and regional offices, helping to promote cohesiveness in operations.
HIV/AIDS Testing and Treatment
3,570 Clients Served
The ART clinic is implementing the 90-90-90 government strategy of testing all patients that come to the health facility for HIV/AIDS. Those found HIV-positive are immediately enrolled for treatment. To date, the ART clinic has served 3,570 clients. Active on treatment are 1,577 clients.
Providing Support for Her Twins
The program faced a shock in November 2017 due the death of Caroline Tukugize, the well-loved RMF program manager for Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement. She died shortly after undergoing a successful C-section to deliver twins at Paragon Hospital in Kampala. Our team is keeping in touch with Caroline’s husband, Francis, and we are providing support for her twins who are now 4 months old.
Mental Health Treatment
1,069 Clients Helped
The Mental Health department continues to register great success and now has client load of 1,069. Among these, 213 clients were newly enrolled. 734 clients are categorized as stable. In addition, the department successfully conducted community sensitization on mental health. During this activity, the community was encouraged to refer victims without traumatizing them.
Health Implementation Program Support
Through our partnership with the UNHCR and OPM (Office of the Prime Minister), RMF received a new ambulance to support the health implementation program in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement.
High Immunization Rate
Maintaining 96.2% Coverage
Immunization coverage was maintained at a high rate. For instance, BCG coverage was at 94.5% by end of the reporting period and polio coverage was 97.7%. Overall, immunization coverage stands at 96.2%, which is within acceptable stands.
During this quarter, staff established demonstration gardens at Panyadoli Health Centre III. The purpose of these gardens is to instil the idea of producing nutritious foods at home, thus reaching durable solutions to prevent malnutrition.
The Panyadoli Health Centres, located in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement near Bweyale, Uganda, provide healthcare services to over 100,000 refugees from Kenya, South Sudan, DR Congo, Burundi, and Rwanda, as well as members of the host community.
- Provide medicine, medical supplies, and medical support
- Support the Health Management Information System Maintenance (staff and petrol supply)
- Maintain hygiene at clinic to Best Practice Western Medicine standards
- Enhance existing structures for Malnutrition ward and main center
- Provide cooking materials such as charcoal stoves, saucepans, utensils, etc.
- Upkeep and renovation of the health center through periodic re-painting and re-plastering.
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Deng Given is a 10-year-old South Sudanese boy who was brought to Panyadoli Health Centre III with acute malaria. The disease was almost out of hand, but with the help of the clinical officer and nurses, Deng was able to recover. Now he and his family are happy, and they are grateful for the great work of RMF in saving Deng’s life.
Esther Adyeru is a 35-year-old South Sudanese woman who has been at Panyadoli Health Centre III for a month now. She arrived weak, unconscious, and thinking she could not recover. Esther has tuberculosis and HIV, and the team has struggled to give her the best treatment. Esther can now move and eat; she is recovering well. Stigma is still a big problem for those living with HIV, especially in rural areas. Thankfully, the RMF staff’s kind attitude encourages patients to open up and makes counseling easier. Esther confessed that she had wanted to open up to people several times and be tested for HIV, but she found it difficult. This time when she got malaria, it worsened her HIV and TB condition, and when she was approached by RMF staff who spoke with her well, she felt it was time to open up for help. It is through “the RMF smile” and warmth of the staff that Esther’s life has been improved.
Paul Sunday is a 23-year-old South Sudanese man who was brought to Panyadoli Health Center III. He was unconscious for four days, unable to open his eyes, eat, or speak. However, due to the continuous care of RMF’s medical team, Paul was able to regain consciousness and is now recovering well. Since RMF began running the Panyadoli Health Centres, the refugee and host communities are treated quickly and medication is available. In the past, the health centers were usually out of medication and patients who could not afford to purchase their prescribed therapy could only get painkillers at the health center. RMF started providing drugs to the health centers even before becoming UNHCR Healthcare Implementing Partner, beginning a marked change in health-seeking behaviors among people of concern.
Geoffrey Irungu is a 45-year-old Kenyan refugee living in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement. He is also living with the HIV. Geoffrey contacted the virus in 1999, when he was taking care of his boss who was helpless. In the process, Geoffrey acquired the disease because he had wounds on his hands, which were exposed. Unaware of his HIV-positive status, Geoffrey saw his life deteriorating; he was losing weight and coughing hard, among other symptoms. He then became so sick that he had to be admitted to the hospital. Geoffrey was tested, and the results showed that he was HIV-positive. He was in a bad condition and his body was weak, but slowly with the help of the RMF counselors and medical team, he improved. Geoffrey is now healthy and working as an interpreter in the health center and as a community leader. He has 3 children with his wife. They live happily, and he is thankful for the help of the Ugandan government and RMF’s team for saving his life and family. He urges that more support be provided to help other people as well. Geoffrey opens up in public about his health and living with HIV/AIDS, and he is an advocate for good health.
Rose is a 6-year-old Ugandan national who was admitted to the Nutrition department at Panyadoli Health Centre III. She was admitted with severe edema, and she could neither walk nor eat. However, due to the hard work and efforts of the nutrition team, Rose can now eat and walk well. Her caregivers were very happy, saying that RMF is doing what the local government could not do for them before the health center was handed over to RMF.