Our Goal: To efficiently improve child health through health education, disease prevention, high quality treatment services and research in a child friendly environment
Our Neonatal Unit has now acquired phototherapy lights and room warmers through the generous support of partners in Switzerland and USA. These have boosted our ability to save sick newborn babies who get a complication of severe jaundice. Many thanks to AfricoMed and Dr Dwight and Debbie Kelleher for making this possible. Our neonatal unit is only one of a few for a population of 300,000 people in the whole district of Kanungu. With the new equipment we will be able to further improve survival rates and reduce the disability.
A further boost was obtained in form of patient monitors and equipment for administering nebulised salbutamol to children with severe asthma as well as portable diagnostic devices. This was again through the kind contributions of AfricoMed and Dr Kristina Rudd.
Children with severe malnutrition can now have home-based rehabilitation thanks to availability of Ready-to-use therapeutic food provided by UNICEF and our Ministry of Health.
We are continuing to update our policies to reflect evidence based guidelines.
With more support we hope to do more to improve survival of our children.
Wilber is a half-orphan boy who was helping his mother to fetch firewood when he fell from a tree and sustained life-threatening injuries.
Our dedicated team has been working hard to make sure he recovers fully and goes back to helping his mother.
He is making good progress.
Each month we see more than 500 children in our Outpatient department and we admit more than 120 to the ward. The leading health problems are respiratory infections, malaria, diarrheal diseases and malnutrition. Our ward is probably the nicest children's ward in all of Uganda, with brightly coloured paintings on the wall and a fun environment for children to play and learn in as they recover.
Outside the ward is a children's play area, a kitchen and a demonstration garden where mothers (and occasionally fathers) can learn skills that they take home about how to grow and cook a balanced diet for their children. The ward staff organizes practical cooking sessions with the mothers of the admitted children every week. These are always preceded by singing and dancing. Children who were previously admitted with severe malnutrition are followed-up to see if their nutritional status is improving.
Specialist clinics are held each week for children with long-term diseases. Children with
Type 1 diabetes are now able to get free insulin and glucometers thanks to support from the Changing Diabetes in Children Program of Novo Nordisk.
We have collaborations with health organizations like Organization Useful Rehabilitation Service (OURS) and Comprehensive RehabilitationServices in Uganda (CoRSU) that offer additional services for children such as physical rehabilitation and repair of congenital defects.
We have undertaken research into sepsis management and its outcome, viral zoonoses and social determinants of severe malnutrition.
How you can Help
With more support we hope to do more to improve the wellbeing of children. Bwindi's child health services get support from Sustain for Life, a charity in the UK and TOUCH Uganda and McCauley Foundation in the United States but there is a lot more that we can do. Adding the money spent on staff, drugs, electricity and other supplies it costs about $30 a day to keep a child in Hospital. The average family in Bwindi lives on about $1 a day and has seven children. They do contribute a small amount, but the local community cannot afford the full costs of care. The average child with malnutrition stays for more than two weeks, and the total cost of providing all of our child health services is $130,000 a year. Any contribution, however large or small, will go directly to helping those most in need.
Children with Type 1 diabetes are now able to get free insulin and glucometers thanks to support from the Changing Diabetes in Children Program .
Children with severe malnutrition can now have home-based rehabilitation thanks to availability of therapeutic food from UNICEF and our Ministry of Health