The project is based in Kiboga District hospital, a government hospital serving the Kiboga and surrounding districts. Our voluntary work is carried out in close collaboration with the local health authorities and medical staff. Our goals are to provide medical care for patients who have limited access to treatment, and to promote health education and advocation in hope to make a lasting effect on disease prevention. In order to fulfill these goals the project will focus on four missions:
The Kiboga District hospital is a government run hospital, serving as the main medical facility for
a population of 400,000 people. The hospital is also in charge of the community health services for the entire district. The hospital has 120 admission beds, as well as an outpatient clinic, all run by a staff consisting only of 4 doctors (with only one doctor on duty at any given time). (For comparison, a small rural hospital in Israel which serves a similar population has 300 admission beds and over 150 doctors, with a well-established community health care system). The treatment at this hospital is provided for free, but due to the severe lack of manpower and resources the possibility to assist all patients, especially the serious cases, is very limited.
Most of the patients at the hospital do not see a doctor at any time during their hospitalization. The patients are admitted to the hospital by “clinical officers” with basic training. During the course of their hospitalization there is usually no further investigations conducted, and only basic follow-up and monitoring is done by nurses.
The volunteers work closely with the local medical staff, conducting regular doctor’s rounds in the wards, engaging in diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of the patients hospitalized, as well as treating emergency cases and advising the clinical officers and nurses as required.
Apart from Kiboga Hospital, the community health care facilities in the district consists of 33 other health centers of four different levels, run by either first-aid providers or nursing staff, without any doctors. Due to lack of manpower, the Kiboga Hospital, which is in charge of the centers, does not conduct any medical outreach activities.
As part of the project we conduct outreach work in rural villages which do not have any medical personal or access to medical care.
The outreach work is carried out along with hospital staff and in collaboration with the local health authorities and village leaders. We travel to various villages with medical staff and medications, setting up a clinic and giving basic medical care and treatment, or referring patients to a larger medical center as needed.
Because of the small number of doctors, most medical care in the governmental health system of Uganda is carried out by nurses and “clinical officers”– staff members who have received basic medical training in treating common medical problems.
In order to strengthen the local staff knowledge and empower them to improve department function and patient medical care, our volunteers conduct regular peer-led seminars for the nursing staff and clinicians in various medical topics such as
assessment of patients stability, diagnosis and management of common diseases and education of patients with chronic diseases. The topics are selected in joint consultation with local staff, according to identified knowledge gaps, and the seminars are led both by our volunteers and by the local staff.
Clinical officers and nurses are also invited to “teaching rounds” with our volunteer doctors during which medical skills such as history taking and physical examination are strengthened, and various medical topics and cases are discussed.
Health education lectures to the general public are a great way to raise awareness about prevention issues, such as hygiene and sanitation, women’s and reproductive health, HIV
and STD prevention, malaria prevention and more.
As part of the project we conduct health lectures on various topics in the wards,
out-patient clinic, schools and during our village outreach work.
Our volunteers also conduct education meetings for patients suffering from chronic diseases, during which they learn about their illness, medications, importance of adherence and necessary life-style changes.