Safe Motherhood Programme

Thabbishah, who runs the clinic, has now started nine outreach clinics based on safe motherhood. Each clinic serves two small village communities in the area around Kimaluli-Butta.

At the start, Thabbishah set out to visit four clinics each month with a small team of helpers. It frequently rains heavily in Uganda, so umbrellas and wellies are often necessary! They carry educational equipment in the form of a small generator, TV and video player (all on the back of motorbikess!) and show films which have a strong educational message.

Recent topics have included basic hygiene, ante-natal care, care of babies, nutritional education and malaria. Malaria is prevalent in the area, causing a lot of sickness, even death, among the smallest children. Provision and education in the use of mosquito nets is a simple and effective heath promotion activity. Thabbishah also holds immunisation sessions on these visits to try and reach the children who cannot reach the main clinic in Kimaluli-Butta.

We recognised that this essential service needed regular resources to provide transport, materials, drugs and staff. This was a problem for us since our income is irregular. Since 2013 the Burdett Trust for Nursing has provided the financial support that allowed the programme to expand to eight clinics per month. We are extremely grateful to Burdett Trust for their support but this will end in mid-2021. However we are delighted that Swettenham Chemists, a family-owned chain of pharmacies based around Chester, has offered to sponsor the project. We see the Safe Motherhood Programme, and the Motorbike Ambulance based at Kimtab Clinic, as probably the most important aspects of our work in Uganda and it is great that they can continue.

The outreach was originally aimed mainly at mothers and children. However the programme now meets a wide range of health needs within all sections of the community. Typically there are well over 1000 patients per month attending the eight clinics.

Thabbishah maintains close links with the District Health Officer in this part of Uganda. He provides valuable support to Kimtab Clinic and has found the Safe Motherhood Programme to be a very effective way to get things done. So, during 2019, Thabbishah ran a measles vaccination campaign in response to the growing problem in Uganda. In 2020, she incorporated a programme of education and awareness on the safe practices to be used to protect against coronavirus.

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