It is located on Lake Albert where there is an ongoing need for a local doctor to service three fishing villages in the area. Directly across the lake, the Ituri Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo has been a site of longstanding conflict, which although sporadic, sees ongoing violence there. In addition to the medical needs of existing villagers, Sebagoro is a major destination point for Congolese refugees fleeing this violence.
Since establishment, Victoria Medical Centre has experienced sustained growth in clinical care. By way of example, beginning with one doctor, it now supports the livelihoods of this doctor and five nurses. The community has high demand for antenatal care and neonatal services as well as general medicine. While some patients are able to pay for services, others, like recently arrived refugees, come seeking help but need subsidised assistance to pay for medical care. Sadly, most of these mothers in need of intensive neonatal interventions for premature born infants--a consequence of maternal malnutrition, are unable to afford costly transfers to urban hospitals and costly surgical interventions and intensive medical care. They go home to await a miracle, or the baby's death.
Currently the medical team are seeing a concerning and pervasive level of malnutrition in the area leading to a devastating effect on pregnant mothers and newborns, leading to a higher level of infant mortality and putting maternal lives at risk. We have been supplying a number of mothers with powdered baby formula to assist with nutritional needs for these children. The Covid-19 lockdown for the past several months in Uganda has put many families near the brink of debilitating poverty where the price of food has increased while household incomes have decreased.
In the meantime, we have also been trying to complete the development of a new centre on land we now own. The work remains slow because of lack of access to workers and materials, and reduced income due to the depressed Covid economy. Happily, we are near ready to move into the new building despite ongoing construction there. The watertank and security door have been installed, the mud walls are getting a concrete render and soon, the rooms will get concrete flooring. Painting will be done in stages as will the solar panels and battery system (there is no plumbing or electricty in this location).
The centre values any contribution you can make. Many of you have already given generously. Present needs are for infant formula, baby bottles, and nutritional supplements for expecting mothers to stem the number of premature births and developmental risks of this malnutrition. We are also seeing a number of patients needing assistance with the cost of insulin for diabetes treatment.
The state of the economy in Uganda means currency from overseas is highly valuable and goes a long way to buying life-saving local medical and food supplies.
Anything you can spare--even the smallest donation--will go a long way and be very much appreciated.
Thanks so much for your assistance!
The below linked articles provide an overview of the refugee crisis and its causes. In each article and embedded media, you can see images of the Sebagoro community where this clinic is situated.
See Washington Post article here
See UNHCR article here
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