In Uganda, the public health system is very poorly developed due to the limited state budget – the few health facilities can only care for a fraction of the population. In rural areas in particular, there is often a lack of affordable basic medical care, advice and preventive services. The shortage of medicines and health products is driving up prices for drugs and medical supplies that are available. As a result, two thirds of the population cannot afford medicines and suffer from diseases that are actually easy to treat.
PARC is working on a holistic approach towards ensuring a sustainable supply of affordable medicines and health /hygiene products, and strengthening the delivery of quality healthcare services to the rural communities through the following inter-related interventions;-
Supporting Health Facilities
Uganda’s key health and social development indices have been below expectations. With a physician density of only 0.117 physicians per 1,000 people (compared to 2.74 in the UK) and a hospital bed density of 0.49 beds per 1,000 people (compared to 3.1 in the USA), the country struggles with relatively high levels of morbidity and mortality from preventable causes. With government funding constrained, the government health centers are over-stretched, have inadequate resources, and fail to meet the health needs of the population.
PARC works to strengthen the public health delivery system of rural, stated aided health centers to ensure that there is the faster and effective diagnosis for early treatment and increased in-patient intake in six (6) ways:-
Provide preventative education and workshops on healthcare issues such as malaria, hygiene, and sanitation, STI/HIV testing and family planning options, etc.
Provision of the solar system to ensure sustainable lighting and power for refrigerators to store drugs and vaccines.
Provision of basic essential items (medical supplies and diagnostic tools) to assist in providing the maximum appropriate level of services at the local level.
Providing access to safe water since the lack of safe water at a health post can be a source of infectious diseases and represents serious risks to patients and health workers.
Empowering village health teams (VHTs) which function as a community’s initial healthcare contact, and creating referral networks whereby village health team (VHT) members alert PARC if a patient requires specialized care beyond local health facility capacity.
Bring access to essential medicines such as distributing malaria drugs, pain-killers, and anti-bacterias (subsidized by PARC so as to be affordable) to village households, both through direct sales at PARC Medical clinic and through setting up supply chains using the VHT.
HEALTH ACCESS FOR ALL
We serve children and women from families that can’t afford medicine or routine checkups. In an area where access to healthcare is limited, PARC’s works to ensure hygiene education (information to keep them safe and healthy), essential medicines, maternal health, and HIV/AIDS prevention & treatment services are easily accessed. This is achieved by the following interventions;-
Supporting Village Health and ChildCare Teams (VHCTs)
Community health is implemented through Village Health Teams (VHTs), a recognized Ministry of Health (MOH) structure in Uganda who are trained as Village Health and ChildCare Teams (VHCTs) to promote health together with child care as well as community livelihoods. VHCTs are local community volunteers who deliver integrated community-based public health services to promote good health-seeking behavior, hygiene practices, infectious disease prevention and control, family planning, nutrition, and child care education to individual households.
We use the VHCT to educate the community about hygiene and sanitation coupled with behavioral change as core aspects to disease prevention, the right to demand healthcare, as well as critical disease prevention interventions.
We provide VHCTs with basic medicines and health /hygiene products on credit basis (which are 10 – 25% cheaper than other local suppliers depending on the products) such that they offer the people in the surrounding villages medical check-ups and supply them with medicines and hygiene items. In this way, medical products are made available to the rural population, and the VHCTs increase their own income, while improving the health situation in remote villages.
We also provide information and resources to VHCT networks, which are sustained through group income-generating projects, which they reinvest into Village Saving and Loan Associations (VSLA).
Health costs in Uganda remain high – a recent study by WHO revealed that Ugandans spend 22 percent of their earnings on health care. A serious or chronic illness of a family member usually means either the death of the person affected, because he has no access to adequate medical care or the financial ruin of the entire family. The idea of health insurance is largely unheard of in rural Uganda.
We will have an insurance package where the patients at our clinic pay for 50% of their bills, while the micro-insurance covers the other half of all charges incurred for a health visit. This project will be subsidized by proceeds from the fairtrade market that will help set-up an insurance fund, and encourage families to save money and are able to use it at the time when they fall sick. Every member of the project will able to get his/her money back whenever they need it – so it does not work like an insurance company but rather saves and keeps the money for the community health support.
Field patient program:
We will collaborate with local and international health professionals to organize mobile interventions, referrals, and financial assistance to patients whose health conditions require more advanced treatment at a specialized healthcare facility.
Uganda’s key health and social development indices have been below expectations. With only one doctor for every 25,000 people, Uganda falls significantly short of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation of one doctor for every 1,000 people. The physician density in Uganda is only 0.117 physicians per 1,000 people (compared to 2.74 in the UK) and the hospital bed density is 0.49 beds per 1,000 people (compared to 3.1 in USA). The country struggles with relatively high levels of morbidity and mortality from preventable causes.
WE KNOW THAT IMPROVED HEALTH AND NUTRITION PLAYS AN INTEGRAL PART IN THE ALLEVIATION OF POVERTY.
If children are to learn and perform well at school, they need to be free of illness and properly nourished. To address this, we are planning a sustainable low-cost healthcare system consisting of school clinics and a static medical clinic. PARC will provide first aid services through school clinics operating in each of its schools. When more complicated cases arise, students will be referred to the PARC health center for more comprehensive medical treatment. PARC Medical Center will operate on a charity basis while complementing the free governmental healthcare system, as it works to provide quality medical services to the people at minimal costs (subsidized fee-based health care).
Our clinic model will give dignified and compassionate care to sick children and adults, enabling the children to continue attending school and receive an education. To promote ECD services, we will seek, nutritional and medical experts to help in designing a malnourished baby feeding program that includes formula, milk, bread, fruit, eggs, vegetables, and greens to ensure that children grow up healthy and strong in their critical first years. It will also provide care, treatment, and education to nursing mothers, women infected with HIV to prevent and/or eliminate HIV transmission from mother to child through its comprehensive Antenatal Care Services and the provision of formula milk and alternative feeding for infants.
In addition to providing first aid, basic check-ups, malaria testing, and medication, the school nurses will coordinate health promotion campaigns and workshops for the entire community. Additionally, we PARC will ensure to:-
- Provide 2 nutritious meals a day for all students and staff.
- Integrate general hygiene practices into the school curriculum.
- Include sexual reproductive health education (including family planning) in the curriculum.
- Teach students and teachers about the risk of HIV/AIDS and other STIs
- Ensure clean and safe drinking water is provided to all students and staff.