Child mortality in rural areas is significantly higher than in urban areas. The Southwestern part of Uganda, which includes Kanungu district, is among the regions with the highest child mortality. In this region, the under-five mortality rate is 92 per 1000 live births, which is above the national average of 64 deaths per 1,000 live births. According to UNICEF, there has been no progress in reducing neonatal mortality, and the burden of malnutrition also remains high in Uganda.
The BCH pediatric ward offers the basic pediatric services in the whole district. In the year 2018/2019 reporting year we provided a lifesaving care to 1346 ill children. Our specialized services include management of severe acute malnutrition, neonatal care nutritional and health education counselling, chronic care services and among others .
Our Neonatal Unit is equipped with phototherapy lights and room warmers courtesy of generous support from partners in Switzerland and USA. These have boosted our ability to save sick newborn babies who get complications of severe jaundice. Many thanks to AfricoMed, Dr Dwight and Debbie Kelleher for making this possible. Our neonatal unit serves 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.
Brian was born at 26 weeks of gestation. He had 0.8kg at birth and suffered many medical complications. Our team of dedicated staff worked so hard to ensure that he recovered well. He is currently 4 years old and attending nursery school
The department of Paediatrics offers basic paediatric services in Kanungu district. Our specialised services include management of severe acute malnutrition, neonatal care, health education and counselling, chronic care services, among others. Each month, we see more than 500 children in our Outpatient department and we admit more than 100 to the paediatric ward. In the year 2018/2019, we provided lifesaving care to 1225 ill children on the paediatric ward. Among these, 22.3% were neonates, and 7.7% of the admissions were premature babies. The leading health problems are respiratory infections, malaria, diarrheal diseases, malnutrition, and complications of preterm neonates.
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. Every week, the ward staff organizes practical cooking sessions with the mothers of the admitted children. Children with severe acute malnutrition can now have home-based rehabilitation thanks to availability of Ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) provided by UNICEF and our Ministry of Health. Children who were previously admitted with severe acute malnutrition are also followed-up to see if their nutritional status is improving.
Specialist clinics are held each week for children with long-term diseases like Type 1 diabetes, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, heart conditions, among others. 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 also have collaborations with health organizations like Organization Useful Rehabilitation Service (OURS) and Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services in Uganda (CoRSU) that offer additional services for children such as physical rehabilitation and repair of congenital defects.
We recently expanded and improved our Neonatal Care Unit. Our Neonatal Care Unit serves a population of approximately 300,000 people in the whole district of Kanungu. It is equipped with phototherapy lights and room warmers courtesy of generous support from partners in Switzerland and USA. These have boosted our ability to save sick newborn babies who get complications of severe jaundice. Many thanks to AfricoMed, Dr Dwight and Debbie Kelleher for making this possible. We also received continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines to help premature babies to breathe. With the new equipment, we shall be able to reduce complications and further improve survival rates of newborn babies. Furthermore, premature babies are followed up in a specialist clinic to ensure that they grow and develop well.
Further boost was obtained in form of patient monitors and equipment for administering nebulised salbutamol to children with asthma flare-ups, as well as portable diagnostic devices. This was again through the kind contributions of AfricoMed and Dr Kristina Rudd.
We have undertaken research into sepsis management and its outcome, viral zoonoses and social determinants of severe malnutrition.
WISH LIST FOR CHILD HEALTH
New oxygen concentrator Helping very sick children to breathe
CPAP nasal prongs Helping very sick neonates to breath
Paediatric ventilator Helping very sick children to breath
Keeping very sick children warm
Patient monitors Helping nurses to monitor children
Infusion pumps Helping nurses to give medication safely
Oxygen gas cylinder To provide oxygen to very sick children
Apnoea monitor To detect neonates who have stopped breathing
Vein light To help nurses identify veins easily
Children’s clothing Keep very ill and deprived children warm
Toys Psychological and physical well-being of children
Referral fund Help children access more tests and care beyond BCH