Visit Report – July 2017.
On this visit, Bristol University asked me to accompany 20 of their 4th year medical students and 4 of their tutors on their visit to Kitovu and Villa Maria Hospitals. This is the fifth year that Bristol has sent students for a three-week study period in Uganda. The hospitals receive financial support in return for hosting the students, who receive a fascinating insight into a completely different medical and social environment.
Most of them give a blood donation, many for the first time.
In addition to financial support, Bristol sent a large amount of useful medical equipment.
While in Kitovu, I was able to review our projects there. The staff loan scheme goes from strength to strength and is a great help for staff recruitment and retention, which are always problems in rural areas. We have given loans which this scheme uses as working capital and they have always been promptly repaid.
Another loan, now repaid, was used to complete the x-ray department, which will shortly be fully functional, including a CT scanner, which is a rarity in a mission hospital.
They are in the process of building a new ward with single rooms. Our loan has enabled completion of the ground floor and patients will be using it in the very near future. A second floor will be built in due course, when funds become available.
Our next big project is the refurbishment of the maternity ward and operating theatre at Freda Carr Hospital, Ngora, in North Eastern Uganda, which is a very poor area. Planning for this is progressing well in co-operation with the Rotary Club of Kampala Central and we expect to submit an application for a Rotary Global Grant this autumn. The Vocational Training Team from District 1090 this spring was enthusiastically received. We are optimistic that we can initiate a major transformation in this rundown hospital along the lines of the work that succeeded so well at Kamuli in the past. The buildings to be refurbished are shown in the photographs.
This project will greatly improve the lives of mothers, babies and surgical patients in this area.