COMMUNITY SERVICES & BATWA

COMMUNITY HEALTH & VILLAGE HEALTH PROMOTERS

The Community Health Team of the hospital reaches out to all the people in our catchment area once in every three months for 101 villages reaching 60,000 people in the 101 villages in our catchment area. On a daily basis 7 villages are visited by Bwindi community Nurse who meets the VHTs in their village discusses a topic with them, collects data from the Village through the VHTs, follow up on complicated cases, attend to school health issues, feed back to the local leaders and VHTs about the health Status of the Village.

The monthly meeting of the nurse and the VHTs in each village is aimed at helping the VHTs to fulfill their roles which include; Community Mobilization, House Hold education for disease prevention, treat simple illnesses (if the VHT has Medicine Kit) referrals where necessary, monitor pregnant women & children under 5 refer them to the nearest Health Unit &/or alert the Community Health nurse and advise on & administer some family planning methods. Among the other VHT's role is to Collect Data (to assist Bwindi Hospital to reduce Child Mortality Rate and Maternal Mortality Rate), Child birth, pregnant women, immunization coverage, and Promote eQuality by distribution of Brochures to every House Hold.

The hospital established a Community Mental Health Service that is currently following up 1052 patients being followed up since 2009 through the Community Health Nurses and Volunteers who mainly identify & refer new cases and carry out home visits providing psychosocial support to the clients and their families. We believe that all the 60,000 people in our catchment area will access good and timely health care in the coming years under this arrangement.

The Problem 

Malaria has always been the biggest killer in the Bwindi area, and is easily preventable simply by sleeping under a mosquito net. Many people still suffer from diarrhea because they don’t know enough about how to access clean water, and families go hungry because they don’t have the knowledge and skills to be able to grow and prepare a balanced diet. Many children with malnutrition and adults with tuberculosis go undiagnosed in the community because of a lack of screening.

Our Services

The Hospital has trained a Village Health Team (VHT) 502 members in the   101 villages in the Bwindi area. Every 6 month VHT’s are trained in a different activity, and they conduct teaching and screening in the community on behalf of the Hospital. To prevent malnutrition they teach every household how to grow and cook a balanced diet, and we give them a list of all the children in their village and teach them to check them every three months for signs of malnutrition, referring children, mothers and other patients to the Hospital if necessary      

Malaria:                                              Mosquito net sales
Malnutrition:                                      Nutrition teaching sessions and malnutrition screening
Sanitation:                                          Home improvement competitions
Family Planning:                                Educational sessions and mobile dispensing services
Disability:                                           Identification and referral to Hospital
Tuberculosis:                                     Screening and referral to Hospital
Safe Water:                                        Teaching on water boiling and collection

Our community health team travels into the area surrounding the Hospital three days each week to talk with community members and teach them the skills they need in order to look after their own health and the health of their families. The community team, along with our Village Health Promoters, form the core of our prevention strategy in combating preventable diseases in the area.

Achievements

  1. Batwa (pygmies) integrated outreaches were done in all Batwa settlements. With aim of influencing behavior change.
  2. A total of 130 children's rights advocates were trained. These are charged with the responsibility of identifying children whose rights are abused, making reports and reporting to BCH and all other authorities/stake holders who can advocate for children's rights. The chairman of this committee makes reports that can be used for follow-up.
  3. We conduct monthly radio program with health education and disease prevention messages in the community. Through these radio talks we are able to reach out to an audience of over 800,000 people with these messages.
  4. ITN follow is done in Karangara, Bujengwe, Kyeshero and Ntungamo parishes. Parish mobilizers were charged with the responsibility of helping the community/Malaria nurse to educate about the use of these ITNS.
  5. Static immunization sessions and daily sessions on maternity ward were done by the community Nurse. About 150 children are seen by the community nurse during weekly static immunization sessions; all newborns received BCG and polio 0 at maternity ward.
  6. WASH Project and sanitation activities are done in all the 68 schools in our catchment area and homes. The main activities include; cleaning water sources, picking and burning polythene bags and cleaning trading centers. This has played a big role in ensuring cleanliness in the communities.

How you can help

The Hospital and community members have worked together to develop a comprehensive plan for improving the health of the community. We have an army of motivated volunteers, a computerized database that includes every household, we record carefully all of the activities that we undertake and are implementing simple evidence-based solutions to basic health problems. We even conduct a household survey every year to measure the benefits of our work. But we have no significant funding for this program, which costs around $98,000 to implement each year. Any contribution, however large or small, will go directly to helping those most in need.

We have trained 496 Village Health Team members for each of the 101 villages in our catchment area under the Health for All (HEAL) Project.


Under this arrangement each VHT has Kit (Bag, MUAC Strips, Data Collection Book, Referral Cards, Death & Birth Notices and Counseling Cards) that helps him/ her to disseminate and collect information from his / village.



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  • Bwindi Community Hospital
    P.O. Box 58 Kanungu, Uganda
  • + 256 (0) 392880242 / +256 (0) 703342891
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