Clinic Construction at Nakasongola
When Fr. Peter Mukasa, returned to serve the people of his home country Uganda in 2011, he was heartened by a number of people who trekked long distances in search of medical treatment. Some of these patients were suffering from Malaria, Typhoid, HIV/Aids; others were pregnant women looking for prenatal services etc. The nearest health clinic they could access was at Fr. Peter’s Parish, the Our Lady of Lourdes Health Center Nakasongola. The clinic is found in Nakasongola District, which is located 80 miles north of Kampala, the capital city of Uganda on Gulu Highway Road.
Although the clinic was the nearest, it was still far for many patients who had to journey for more than 15 miles to get there. Like most of the other “upcountry” village clinics in Uganda, it was very small, with no electricity, running water or window screens, and had worn out mattresses and linens. One ward housed women, men, and children patients in a dilapidated building. You can imagine confining all of these patients of both genders and all ages with various illnesses in just one room. In a nutshell, it was in a sorry state of disrepair and most people ended up getting other diseases instead of being healed while they were at the clinic.
The first action taken by Fr. Peter was to improve on the sorry state of the clinic. Through the generous support of St. Anne parish community in Barrington, IL, funds were raised to buy the new mattresses, bed linens, mosquito nets, and to restore electricity and fix the window screens.
The next initiative was to enlarge the clinic so to reduce the issue of overcrowding and to provide better health services which were urgently needed by the people living in this area. The clinic has a catchment population of about 168,000 people. With the help of the funds from St. Anne’s community in Barrington and donations from other friends, we started the construction of a new structure in July 2013. This new structure is large enough to have the maternity wing (prenatal, labor ward, postnatal rooms), surgical section, nurses/doctors’ office, etc. People of this area will no longer have to deliver babies in their homes or risk a journey of up to 50 kms in search of better healthcare services.
Due to the limited sources of funding, the work has been done in phases. We started by digging the clinic’s footings, building the walls, roof construction, installing windows and doors, flooring, electricity installation, and painting.
As you notice, everything is done manually with no bulldozers or caterpillars to dig the footings. There are no concrete mixers or even a nail gun. Personal protective equipment such as safety glasses, hearing protection, and waterproof gloves are absent. It requires real risk and hard labor, but the local craftsmen are skilled. These people are working diligently to survive and support their families.
We completed the construction and we opened the maternity building for full service on April 25, 2021. As of September, 2021, 374 babies have been delivered and 6 successful Caesarean Section conducted. Besides saving mothers with their babies, the new maternity building has created more jobs in the area. 14 new staff members have been recruited at the clinic.
We thank you for your generous donations towards the maternity building construction. However, we still need your support to equip this new maternity building. We need:
- 30 Patient Beds with a total budget of $7,860.
- Furniture in the building with a total budget of $3,285.
- Computer sets and tv screens with a total budget of $2,485.
- Stable water source with a total budget of $8,880.
We want to harvest the water from the roof of the new building and collect it in the underground tank which later eventually be supplied (using the water pump) both inside and outside the buildings. In order not to depend totally on rain water from the roof, we want to dig a well near the clinic which will also supplement the rain water (just in case we experience long spells of drought).
We especially appreciate your generosity towards this project in particular and are grateful for your interest in the other projects of the Zimu Foundation. We still need a lot of help as we make a difference in the lives of the underprivileged. Together we can save and change lives and bring hope among the less advantaged.