The Batwa were a traditional nomadic community in forested areas in what is now Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, in 1991, due to conservation projects to protect mountain gorillas, the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda was created in the south of the country bordering DRC. The Batwa were displaced from the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest where they had lived for centuries.
Upon their displacement, they faced a sudden change in their way of life, which exposed them to new challenges. They have limited food, shelter, health care and clothing as the immediate needs. The Batwa in Kanungu district are supported by the Kellerman Foundation through Bwindi Community Hospital (BCH) and the Batwa Development Program to improve their lives.
BCH carries out integrated outreaches in the Batwa settlements for extensive health education on Food and Nutrition ((this includes screening, rehabilitation for the sick and follow up), Sanitation and Hygiene. These have led to great improvement in the lives of the Batwa people reducing child and maternal morbidity and mortality.
Bwindi Communtity Hospital opened Byumba Health Centre II in June 2009 on the edge of the Batwa settlement to provide health care services to the Batwa in the area.
The Health Centre employs three Batwa and three Bakiga workers. At Byumba, we see about 500 patients every month and services provided are;
Antenatal care and Family planning
HIV voluntary counseling and Testing Services
Treatment of simple/ minor medical conditions
Referral of complicated cases to BCH
Mosquito net distribution
simple lab test.