Project Bumwalukani, Uganda

DSCN2780

DSCN2780

DSCN3788

DSCN3788

The clinic at Project Bumwalukani is operated in cooperation with Arlington Academy of Hope (AAH), a private school in Bumwalukani parish that was started by a resident of the village who moved to Arlington, VA and started the school as a model for educational programs in the district.  The clinic was originally opened as a sick bay for students at the school, at which time FIMRC took over its operation.  The clinic now serves children and adults from Bumwalukani and neighboring parishes.  We see approximately 80-100 patients per day.  Malaria, diarrhea, respiratory infections, and skin infections have been some of the most common conditions diagnosed at the clinic.  The clinic is staffed by a nursing officer and comprehensive nurse, who conduct all patient examination; two nursing officers, who dispense medications, perform necessary treatment and wound care, and take patient vitals; two staff assistants who manage the patient waiting area, oversee patient health education, and conduct exit interviews for patients to ensure high quality patient care and patient education; and a laboratory assistant who conducts all lab tests.  We also have a number of community volunteers who support patient education and assist with patient intake and exit interviews as needed.

Outreach programs at the clinic are managed by the Health Outreach Team. .  This team manages sixteen Community Health Educators (CHE’s) who lead our seven community health groups, conduct home-based health education and first aid, and attend bimonthly community outreaches to different villages, trading centers, and schools within the district.  Through the outreach program, Project Bumwalukani also conducts weekly HIV testing and counseling - all positive patients are monitored at home by the CHE’s.  We have also just started a maternal-child health program through which we provide bimonthly antenatal care on site at the clinic; we also just started a pregnant women's health group and home-based follow-up program for women enrolled in the program.  Other outreach services include monthly immunization clinics, health education for priary and secondary school students, and health education in the community through the FIMRC Acting Community Troop (FACT - our drama group.)

DSCN1634

DSCN1634

We have been working to increase our network of partnerships and support for the clinic both within Uganda and internationally.  Another major initiative has been the development of FIMRC's site in Uganda as a site for rotating medical students and residents.  At the moment, we are expecting our first residents in Jan/Feb of 2011 from Michigan State University - Lisa has been working to develop partnerships with other universities as well including the Medical College of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Marylhurst University.  In August of next year, we will also begin hosting medical student from Makerere University in Kampala on a rural medical rotation.

I've been here in Bumwalukani for just over a year now, and it has been an incredible learning experience for me.  The village where the clinic is located has a strong sense of community, and it’s exciting to work in an environment where so many people are involved in the clinic in so many different ways.  It has been challenging and interesting to work with a lot of different groups and people to get the projects off the ground.

-Elena Phoutrides Assistant Field Operations Manager, FIMRC Uganda