Kitgum Town

Kitgum Town
Kitgum Town

Friday, February 20, 2015

Days for Girls outreach to Agoro

Next week Yotkom will be partnering with an organisation called Kitgum women's peace initiative  to  facilitate the presentation of the Days for Girls teaching program  to four schools in the rural community of Agoro. KWPI are concerned about young girls missing school because of inability to access feminine hygiene products and they have asked us to assist. There is also a need to provide education on self care and protection from sexual assault to these young women.  The incidence of unwanted teenage pregnancies and HIV AIDs. Transmission is of major concern in these village communities.

Agoro is two hours drive from Kitgum. Lying close to the Sudan border.
Today we travelled to lamwo district government headquarters and. met with Barnabas, the director of Education for the district .He is highly supportive of the  work to educate young girls and improve school attendance.

We will be donating days for Girls sanitary products  to four schools . These have been tailored in our Yotkom centre in Kitgum using funds donated from Australia.
These rural schoolchildren will benefit a lot from this preventive health strategy.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Yotkom project updates

We are very keen to get final approval to open our container of medical equipment donated from the Mater Hospital in Brisbane. We have faced many obstructions and bureaucratic hurdles and are praying for a breakthrough. Getting things done here can be sooo slow .
While waiting on road clearing alongside our land we continue to prepare and put all things in place  with the final plans and approvals , ready for construction to start. Andrew Kilama will be our project manager.
In the Yotkom office we are working to adopt the use of an accounting software program to improve accounting ,transparency and reporting capabilities for the project,
Days for girls initiative continues to grow ,with our nurses planning visits to isolated schools to teach on women's health issues and sexual health. Our Taylor, Rhoda, is working hard in the back office sewing sanitary products for women, some of which are sold in our drug shop, and others donated to schools, with  the assistance of donor funds from Australia.
At the medical clinic patients a young girl receives treatment for shortness of breath associated with an acute asthma attack.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Medical work continues 24 /7

Our Yotkom Uganda medical practitioners continue to work hard responding to the medical needs of the community.
Dr vincent and radiographer Mike were busy restoring the shape of a broken forearm and plastering it. The child was  given an injection of anaesthetic and was asleep throughout the procedure.
There was also a child today who ingested liquid paraffin, vomited and then aspirated into the lungs, causing acute breathing difficulties. Our clinical officer Richard was able to initiate treatment, including oxygen delivered from a concentrator. This was powered by a solar system, donated by Gateway Baptist church two years ago. Without that system the child would have been in major distress, denied oxygen by one of our many power blackouts.

We are proud of Richard and the work he is doing for his community. Our organisation sponsored him through high school and medical school and now to see him fulfilling his role is so exciting.

One if our other clinical officers here, Beatrice, has a beautiful child called  Vivienne.
Sometimes she needs to come to the clinic to be near mamma. The other staff are very supportive of this family atmosphere.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

We are changing lives, bringing hope and healing

Today in the medical clinic we had evidence of lives changed through the medical interventions of our Yotkom health workers.
A young woman was admitted in shock from blood loss associated with a serious miscarriage at 12 weeks of pregnancy. She was near to death and had travelled 100km to get help .
After resuscitation with intravenous fluids her blood pressure was recordable and she had a surgical procedure at the clinic to resolve the issue. Today she is free of pain and receiving antibiotics to bring a full recovery.

A little boy named john travelled with his mother from Southern Sudan to come for medical advice. He had developed normally until one year ago when he contracted cerebral malaria and sustained permanent brain damage as a result. When he was first seen he was having continuous seizures and was very agitated and distressed. Today after commencing anti epileptic drugs we found him to be smiling and settled although his management will still be along term challenge for his mother.

It is so encouraging to see  lives changed  as a result of our presence here.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Mastectomy patient recovers in clinic

The Building Begins

At the beginning of February,  Dr Andrew Wright and  his wife  Anne have moved from Brisbane Queensland to live in Kitgum Uganda for approximately three months in order to monitor the commencement of construction of the new purpose built Yotkom Medical Centre.
We are very excited that generous donors in Australia have entrusted the project with the funds necessary to complete stage one of the medical centre, costing approximately $125,000 Australian.
Much of the giving for this took place over the Christmas season and was facilitated by Gateway Baptist Church in Brisbane. We are so grateful for their partnership with Yotkom.
This is the dry season, so an ideal time to start building, although also intensely hot and dusty which makes working and living here rather challenging. By the afternoon most people are wilting and drained of energy!
One of our major challenges to resolve before building starts is to deal with the recent resumption of some of our land by the Chinese company contracted by the Ugandan Government to build a key road running from Kampala to Southern Sudan which passes by our front door.
Many people in Kitgum have been affected by this road which is threatening to remove established businesses and homes and cause major hardship to the local community.
We are urgently seeking to examine our options so as to not delay our building project.
Ideally we hope an alternate path will be chosen for the road. Alternatively we will need to modify our planned structure to fit on the reduced land size. Our design engineer, Andrew Kilama is currently working on this. We trust compensation for any land loss will be forthcoming and perhaps allow us to purchase some vacant lots adjoining us ,suitable for future expansion.
As this process continues, Dr Andrew will be working in the medical clinic and at St Joseph's  Hospital .
Already we have been reminded of the acute medical needs of the community as a man in his fifties this week died of tetanus. It's encouraging to know that our medical team is already providing a much needed service to Kitgum in the rented facilities they are currently using. A woman in her 40s was this week operated in to have a mastectomy for breast cancer. This was performed by a local surgeon in our treatment room, with a single solar light during a power outage, with the assistance of our registered nurse. The woman will go on to have radiotherapy and chemotherapy in Kampala. Hopefully her life has been saved by this curative surgery. We found her recovering well on our ward round this morning.