“Israeli Medicine on the Equator” strives to develop a healthy and knowledgeable society equipped with the tools to reduce the burden of typical tropical diseases, advance preventable NCDs, and improve treatment and quality of life for people living with NCDs. We are on a mission to enhance health, medical performance, and sustainability in the Kiboga regional and other rural areas in Uganda and elsewhere in Africa. Thus by introducing a replicable model based on Israeli knowledge and expertise.
The “Kiboga” model has been developed by “Israel Medicine on the Equator” based on the substantial field experience and comprehensive understanding of the primary healthcare challenges in Rural Uganda. The local public health system of Kiboga district serves a population of over 400,000 from Kiboga and the nearby communities.
The system includes one hospital with 120 admission beds, one large health center, and 18 smaller centers around the district. Only six doctors are currently employed in these facilities (all working part-time), and the community health centers are run by nurses and clinical officers with basic training. This region’s public system lacks resources and trained personnel and is characterized by rural inaccessibility to primary healthcare facilities.
NCDs, which have become highly prevalent in rural Africa, present multiple challenges,
as the equipment and medication required for their treatment are scarce. Within this context, together with the common infectious diseases, chronic NCDs overload the local healthcare system. Local staff lack training, which could result in patients not receiving correct information regarding their conditions. Hence, we work with local medical staff to raise the population’s awareness to NCDs to improve the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases such as diabetes, cancer, hypertension, and heart diseases.
The “Kiboga” model emphasizes our local partners’ empowerment and capacity building in the medical sector, i.e. eight regional health centres and the Kiboga District Hospital. The
voluntary medical teams engage in community outreach in remote villages across Kiboga, training staff and building long-term capacities among local teams. In conjunction with conducting extensive clinical activities, our volunteers also implement advanced medical technologies, e.g. telemedicine, for better treatment outcomes.
Since 2017, our voluntary medical teams have been paving the way by improving and facilitating access to healthcare throughout the district and healthcare outcomes through patient education and awareness. In 2017, we opened a unique diabetes clinic in Kiboga’s hospital with branches in other health centers across the district. This clinic is the first of its kind in the Ugandan public health system with its multidisciplinary approach and emphasis on rural accessibility.
Following the success of this clinic, we are now expanding into tackling hypertension, malnutrition, and cervical cancer. The “Kiboga” model can be replicated in other Ugandan districts and elsewhere in Africa, focusing on regional healthcare systems. From providing perinatal care to treating HIV, cancer, malnutrition and other NCDs, the Israeli volunteers are saving lives, contributing to a better healthcare system in rural Uganda, and advocating the diplomatic relations between Israel and Uganda.