June Blog 22

“Every day may not be good but there is something good in every day.”

 Sarah Komugisha – Medical Services Manager &
Board Member (Founders Representative)

How can we start each day with a Positive thought?

‘Language is one of the most important interactive tools that humans have. One mouth can speak both words to uplift and those to destroy. When you use positive words, you have the power to encourage and help build self-esteem and make someone feel good. Think of your favourite people to be around and find their common denominator. You’ll find that these people are often warm, genuine, funny, and use positive language. Their positive conversation and outlook on life influences you and makes you want to be close to them. Did you know that your brain is hardwired to process more negative information than positive? Scientists call this phenomenon the negativity bias. Humans tend to pay more attention to negative stimuli as a learning experience.’  (Source: Power of Positivity)

Why not start each day with a positive thought and be one of those people that people like to be around? Each morning when you first wake up take a moment and think of 3 things you are grateful for.  It is amazing how it changes your mindset.

KHC Staff Lend a Helping Hand

Last year we told the story of how Iddi who is 18 years old, was battling cancer since he was in Primary 6. In 2021 he was referred to the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) and stayed at the New Hope Children’s hostel during his treatment and at the same time was studying for his A levels. The good news is that he is winning the battle with cancer and started university in June after he achieved 3 A’s (mathematics, chemistry and physics), a distinction two in general paper and ICT. He received a government sponsorship and will do a course in Civil Engineering at Makerere University.  Congratulations Iddi.

“After my treatment I started working in the stores department of KHC as a volunteer and I received a monthly stipend that helped me to buy personal necessities that I needed while at the hostel and I managed to save some money. I am grateful to the financial, medical, transport, food support and a home the hostel has given me. My mother was unable to buy requirements I needed to join the university.

Great appreciation goes to all the KHC staff as they collected money so I was able to buy the things I needed ranging from beddings, shoes, bags, clothes, books, pens. And the money I saved while working with KHC has helped me settle comfortably in the university. I am grateful also to a lecturer at the Makerere University who provided me with a new mattress and I was given by another kind person Dr Monica Namayanja, a new laptop. I am so happy and will work hard at university.”

We are sure that we will be hearing a lot more about this amazing young man and we wish him well at university.

World Tuberculosis (TB) Day

Each March we mark the World TB Day. The objective is to build public awareness about the disease and to eliminate the disease. The theme this year was “Invest to end TB and save lives” and the day started with a marathon with a KHC team participating.     (Right: KHC team did us proud! )                       

Below: The Minister of Health Dr Jane Acheng officially launched material that health workers can use                         to educate the community about TB.        

Key Facts:

  • A total of 1.5 million people died from TB in 2020 (including 214 000 people with HIV). Worldwide, TB is the 13th leading cause of death and the second leading infectious killer after COVID-19 (above HIV/AIDS).
  • In 2020, an estimated 10 million people fell ill with tuberculosis (TB) worldwide. 5.6 million men, 3.3 million women and 1.1 million children. TB is present in all countries and age groups. But TB is curable and preventable. (Source: WHO 2021)

In Uganda over 90,000 people still develop TB every year which the Ministry of Health says it is a concern and the government is planning interventions with all the health facilities and implementing partners to be able to take the lead in ending TB in Uganda.

KHC Fight Against TB

Our TB services are provided by a multi-disciplinary team that comprise of health professionals and community volunteers which play an important role through monitoring adherence to medication and tracking TB patients who miss clinic appointments. Some of the volunteers are trained in provision of Community Based Directly Observed Therapy (CB-DOT).

This network enabled us to attain the following outcomes during the year 2021-2022:  2,387 clients were screened for TB, 45 were confirmed with active TB with the aid of TB diagnostic algorithm; 2,149 clients registered having started TB prevention treatment.

Volunteering can be rewarding

Volunteers are a valuable resource for us and for the volunteer a great learning experience.

“I am Kwebaza Christine, a volunteer in store duties at Kawempe Home Care. I have be working with the team since April.

My role involves managing receipt, recording, storage and issuing of drugs, stationery and cleaning items. These responsibilities have helped me to broaden my knowledge, skills and understanding of quality health care service provision while challenging me to exhibit a relative degree of excellent work ethics with the store items, colleagues and resources suppliers.

Special thanks to the management of KHC for trusting me with such an important position which enhances my career and financial aspects of my life. In the same spirit I appreciate all colleagues and the support staff of KHC for their untiring support rendered that has in time improved my performance on the job. KHC is indeed moved of love!”

Christine’s Supervisor, Mungoma Immaculate, says “She is a valuable addition to the team. Her role is very important as we need to ensure we have a ready supply of medicines at all times for our clients. She is a great planner and communicator to the medical teams.”

Exchange of Ideas:

In June KHC was invited to attend a meeting at Hotel African with the new staff at the Ministry of Health organised by Palliative Care Association Uganda (PCAU). Each of the hospices that provide palliative care were asked to do a 10-minute presentation on what their organisation was doing in Palliative Care. 

It was very worthwhile I had the opportunity to not only demonstrate our successful palliative care credentials but also to exchange ideas with colleagues.

USAID Defeat TB transition event for programmatic management of drug resistant TB technical assistance was recently held. I represented KHC and shared our experience and achievements in community engagement after working with Defeat TB for the past five years. Community engagement through civil society organizations is an effective tool for TB care detection. By the end of August 2021, 502 supportable TB cases were notified out of which 237 (47%) were through contact tracing.


Left: Sarah Komugisha with Dr Sam Guma

 

Breast Cancer:  Recently a 3-day meeting was held at Hotel African to discuss and develop guidelines for breast cancer and how to encourage women to check their breasts regularly.

 KHC had previously developed posters for our clients on how to check breasts for lumps, in both English and Luganda.

Rotary Club of Kireka Movers, who are great supporters of our hostel for children with cancer, elected a new president, Rtn Kenan Epher.  Two of the children from the hostel and their caregivers were invited to the installation dinner for the Amazing President which they very much enjoyed.

Also, Diana Nkuriziza (Head Quality Assurance Manager) was inducted as a new member to the club.  

 

Gender Based Violence is a problem.

 “Violence against women is endemic in every country and culture, causing harm to millions of women and their families, and has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. But unlike COVID-19, violence against women cannot be stopped with a vaccine. We can only fight it with deep-rooted and sustained efforts – by governments, communities and individuals – to change harmful attitudes, improve access to opportunities and services for women and girls, and foster healthy and mutually respectful relationships.” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

There is a greater awareness about violence against women, however it is still often ignored because legal systems and cultural norms do not treat it as a crime, but rather as a ‘private’ family matter, or a normal part of life.

KHC Experience

From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, there has been an increase in gender based violence in and around Kawempe division with an average of 35 cases per quarter being reported to KHC compared to 15 cases before the pandemic.

The gender based violence cases are categorized as follows:

  • Physical violence reported include biting, grabbing, scratching, hitting and pushing among others forms of direct physical abuse. This has often resulted in injuries and advanced psychological effects among the victims.
  • The sexually relate cases of violence’s reported during this last quarter include mainly marital rape, defilement, unwanted touches especially among the MARPS, denial for sex among men and forceful sexual intercourse or unwanted penetration among adolescents especially as a result of alcohol.
  • The psychological cases include expressive aggression (humiliation and degrading) among victims, coercive controls plus threats of physical and sexual abuse.

KHC has been able to support these women through:

  • KHC staff have had extensive training and capacity building in-order to handle the complex cases reported by clients.
  • More sensitization and awareness for clients about GBV services and KHC able to identify GBV cases.
  • Strengthening the holistic approach among GBV service providers that include child protection agencies, post trauma organizations.
  • Continue encouraging clients to provide available phone contacts for easy follow up.

The key to making the home a safer environment for women and children is encouraging communities to foster healthy and mutually respectful relationships.   Diana Nkurunziza – Head Quality Assurance Manager

GlobalGiving -One Day Campaign

Donations of $100 USD and up will be matched on Wednesday, July 20, 2022, starting at 9 a.m. ET.

If you donate on July 20, donations of $100 and up will be eligible for matching funds from our partner, GlobalGiving!

The higher the donation, the higher the matching dollar. 

It is a very difficult time financially for lots of people worldwide but if you are in a position to be able to support this campaign for the New Hope Children’s hostel that would be fantastic.

 

The link is  Help Poor Children with Cancer to Access Treatment – GlobalGiving

That is all from us for the moment but we would love to hear from you so if you have time leave a comment on this blog of what you would like to hear more about or just to say Hi.

1 thought on “June Blog 22”

  1. I enjoy reading the KHC blog and am continually amazed at the incredible support you provide for those who desperately need it. Great work.

    Reply

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