Our health care improvement initiative started at the Bishop Asili Hospital in Luwero, Uganda, staffed with caring and highly educated health professionals, who have almost no resources at their disposal.
We partnered with Sister Ernestine Akulu, the hospital's founder and Director, and together we've achieved the following results:
- Because the hospital had unreliable and intermittent electricity, there was an obvious need for an industrial generator, which we secured through donations and installed at the hospital. Patients will no longer have to be treated in the dark, and valuable vaccinations and medications will no longer be wasted due to spoiling.
- We acquired a fully-equipped ambulance to transport patients to the hospital. In an emergency situation, patients previously had to hitch a ride on the back of a scooter, pay the driver, and make a treacherous journey to the hospital on rough dirt roads. Imagine being a pregnant woman in the midst of a complicated labor, having to ride on the back of a scooter! Now women can be transported comfortably and safely in a modern ambulance.
- We procured a CD-4 Analyzer directly from the manufacturer, Becton-Dickinson. This piece of equipment will make it possible for thousands of HIV positive patients to have their white blood cell count tested - a prerequisite to receiving life-saving anti-retroviral medications.
- For the first time in the 11 years that the Bishop Asili Hospital has been in existence, we have been able to raise enough funding to hire and sustain a staff doctor, Dr. Charles. Previously, patients were seen by very skilled nurses and medical assistants, but a physician was not available for even the direst of circumstances.
- With funding received for basic surgical equipment, Dr. Charles successfully performed the first emergency C-section at the Bishop Asili Hospital. Both mother and twins survived and are doing well.
- As a result of malaria education and advocacy, more than 15,000 insecticide treated bed nets have been distributed, and training has been provided to ensure they are used effectively.
- In close coordination with the Clinton Foundation, the HIV pediatric testing program has been launched, providing opportunities for previously untested children to receive the proper medications needed to stay healthy and strong.
While the Just Like My Child Foundation is pleased with these accomplishments, there is so much more to be done! The hospital needs a surgical suite, for example, in order to perform emergency cesarean sections, blood transfusions, hernia repairs, drainage of abscesses, and apply casts to broken bones. They have no diagnostic equipment, such as ultrasound machines, nor are they equipped to administer anesthesia. In a life-threatening emergency, a patient would have to pay for a ride to another hospital, many miles away, and then pay in cash for his/her care. Many patients who are turned away from the Bishop Asili hospital because of lack of technology or surgical equipment simply choose to return home to die rather than attempt transportation to a distant hospital that they cannot even afford.
An appeal from Dr. Dennis Mike Buluma:
The time I have been here I have seen kids, I have seen mothers die, because while I have the knowledge, I don't have the right equipment, I don't have the diagnostics to make a proper diagnosis in terms of laboratory equipment and supplies, so I have watched some of them unfortunately die in my hands because I am helpless.
So I would appeal that when we get this equipment, and if possible to get it as soon as possible, it will go a long way in helping us help our people better, and will reduce the mortality that is avoidable, really.
Facts and Figures: