The Clinic on Bwama Island, Lake Bunyonyi, makes health care available to all – giving relief from curable ailments and helping to fight some of the developing world’s biggest killers.
In 2011 we partnered with the District Health Department, the Kigezi Diocese and the Tropical Medical School of the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia to build and staff a new medical facility at Lake Bunyonyi. The Kigezi Diocese would supply the land, Edirisa UK would construct the out patient clinic, accommodation for international doctors, latrines and showers and the government would construct a maternity and overnight ward and staff houses. On completion the clinic would be staffed and supplied by the District Health Authority with equipment and international doctors from the Tropical Medical School.
This is something of a medical renaissance for Bwama Island as in the 1930’s, under the management of Dr Leonard Sharp, Bwama Island famously housed thousands of leprosy patients from across Central and East Africa, it closed in 1972. The site had been chosen in order to isolate the patients from the rest of the community, but has now been chosen to house the clinic due to it’s central location, accessible from most areas of Lake Bunyonyi.
Edirisa UK completed the construction of the outpatients’ clinic which opened late 2012. The Government started the maternity and overnight wards in 2015 but never finished the building. In 2016 we provided funds to complete the floors and the doctors from the Tropical Medical School gave funds to complete the plumbing and solar installation. The maternity ward opened mid 2016 and we have 3 midwives in residence.
The clinic has already made a big impact on the local community’s ability to seek medical care, which is totally free of charge, and for local women to deliver children more safely – it is the major primary care provider in the Lake area. In the year ended 30th June 2016 there were 41,906 patients treated and 115 babies delivered. With the opening of the new maternity ward this figure will increase. The clinic also offers ante natal clinics and maternity aftercare. There were 820 dental patients seen. You can read the latest full annual report here.
As there is no housing for staff at the clinic it is difficult to provide medical services out of hours e.g. should a patient fall ill over night or a lady go in to labour. This places people in danger of not getting the required treatment. We face staff attraction and retention issues as there is little local accommodation available and what there is on the other side of the island is over 1km away from the clinic. Most other Government facilities will provide housing for staff and as such we are at a disadvantage in attracting talent compared with facilities in other areas.
This year we have partnered with the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Ljubljana and under the direction of Professor Anja Planiscek Masters student Danaja Vastic will design and supervise the build of the staff housing complex. Danaja and three of her fellow students will travel to Uganda in late June to commence the building and you can see the first draft of the plans here.
Vida, Tina and Danaja from the Faculty of Architecture – Danaja (r) is the one designing the houses
We will be using local workers and materials in the build and Danaja is incorporating new and innovative ideas into the designs. Please help us to raise funds for this project, even the smallest contribution is welcome. Thank you.