The Pearl of Africa
Uganda is a landlocked country located in eastern Africa and shares its borders with five other countries. With more than 40% of rural Ugandans living in abject poverty and the harsh reality of being a top 10 country for HIV prevalence rates, a complex health situation exists. With the HIV epidemic, as well as problems such as malaria and other tropical diseases, lack of adequate maternal and child health services and other complicating factors, the need for access to healthcare facilities, trained medical staff and medical supplies still remains a goal with slow progress for the country.
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The GDP per capita. Uganda ranks 206 out of 229, making it one of the poorest countries in the world. ⓘ
The FIMRC Station System
Project Bumwalukani stands at the foot of Mount Elgon, 150 miles east of the bustling capital city of Kampala, which, according to the Ministry of Health, has the highest prevalence of HIV infection in Uganda, the dispersed rural communities around the clinic are comprised of approximately 10,000 to 15,000 inhabitants with an average annual income of $200 (in US dollars).
Project Bumwalukani is located at the base of Mt. Elgon in the Bududa district, approximately 260km east of Kampala. Bududa is a remote zone often labeled the "forgotten district".
Project Bumwalukani is located in one of the poorest districts within Uganda. Extreme poverty, a lack of infrastructure and low education levels all contribute to a more complex health situation. We work to beat the statistics and focus on issues such as HIV, malaria and maternal and child health.
We partnered with AAH's grade school. We saw a need much greater than our initial efforts. We surveyed the community. We talked to leaders. We expanded our medical staff. We strategically developed partnerships to provide additional benefits. We now provide clinical services and outreach programs to over 14 communities.
Learn More About Bumwalukani +
Following the success of our projects in India and Costa Rica, we partnered with the Arlington Academy of Hope (AAH) [www.aahuganda.org] to establish a health clinic in Bumwalukani, Uganda. The Arlington Academy of Hope (AAH) is a nonprofit organization aimed at enriching the lives of children in rural Uganda by providing access to high quality, well-rounded education within their village communities. Such education is dependent upon the health of its students and teachers, and the partnership initially provided the opportunity for FIMRC to administer basic healthcare to the 300 hundred students and teachers that attend the school, as well as serve the needs of the surrounding region.
Although the clinic was constructed in an effort to meet the health and nutritional needs of the school, the severe lack of medical care in the surrounding region makes the clinic an essential resource for the community at large. We therefore expanded services and now run the clinic to serve not only school children, but more than 14 communities in the area, including Bumwalukani. Project Bumwalukani is a star model of FIMRC's approach to healthcare in the developing world.
As a result of scarce access to medical facilities in the area, FIMRC's Project Bumwalukani has the heaviest case load of any of our project sites. The most rampant medical issues plaguing this population are readily treatable with preventative measures, education initiatives and continuous healthcare monitoring. We work with local partner organizations, local Community Health Educators trained by FIMRC and a large clinic staff to meet the needs of the Bumwalukani clinic, school and outlying communities.
Since expanding our services at Project Bumwalukani to encompass more than 14 communities in the area, we, more than ever, have seen the need to actively listen and respond to the current health situation in Bududa. Input from our medical and outreach teams, clinical data, a community based advisory committee, as well as current groups, have all led to the expansion and continued growth at Project Bumwalukani. With the support of our volunteers, we dedicate our resources to three main areas of focus: clinical activities, health education and special initiatives. Below are a few examples of our work at Project Bumwalukani.
- Primary care services for patients of all ages
- Antenatal clinic
- HIV testing and counseling
- Malaria testing
- Clinical laboratory
- Implementation of Uganda's first clinical station system with innovative database system
- Patient Education Program in waiting room
- Women's groups
- Post Test Club for HIV positive patients
- Orphaned and Vulnerable Children Program
- Pregnant women group
- Community Health Educator Program
- Health education to community orphans schools
- School health clubs
- Malaria net treatment
- Post Test Club nutritional garden
Project Bumwalukani provides ample opportunity for volunteers to immerse themselves in a number of projects on-site. Whether you're teaching the HIV Post Test Club, hiking to a far away community in your gum boots to work with the Community Health Educators, or spending the afternoon taking vital signs in our rural clinic, your efforts allow us to better serve the residents of Bududa.
All volunteers have the opportunity to participate in both the clinical and health education aspects of operations on-site, and activities can range from treating bed nets to prevent malaria to a refresher course for our Community Health Educators on how to take vital signs.
Over the course of your trip you'll receive an unfiltered experience in health care field work abroad, and learn about the tremendous impact that even one person can have. At our end, so as to maximize your contribution, we will tailor your experience based on current needs, your interests, training, and amount of time that you spend with us on-site at Project Bumwalukani.
Wondering about the logistics of volunteering? Click below for more information on flights, activities, accommodations, transportation, trip cost, and more!