New Life Church, Supporting Mothers in Lira

I’ve just come back from a few days in Menorca with Alan and Lyn. On Sunday I was able to give church members an update on our plans for Maternal Care at the Charis health centre in Lira. I mentioned how we are hoping to create a Safe Motherhood programme at a cost of £75 per enrolled woman. This programme will provide at least 4 ante-natal visits, treatments during pregnancy, safe delivery, post-natal care and immunisation for the baby. We hope to ensure the availability of appropriate family planning to all those that want it.

New Life Church has been collecting each week to support our work and I was very pleased to be there in person to receive their latest donation of £500.

Receiving a cheque for £500 from Alan at New Life Church


Click here to read about their previous donation, referred to as “Scooby-Doo Money”.

Hope Ward Annual Report 2010

By Jemimah Kiboss:

In the 11 months to the end of November 2010 Hope Ward admitted 227 patients for a total of 2,730 bed-nights.

This year, funds raised for Hope Ward amounted to UGX 89.4 million (~£25,000); 43% of these funds came from our corporate sponsors – Bead for Life, Mvule Trust & Narrow Road.

Most (80%) of the Hope Ward expenses amounting to approximately UGX 459 million (~£130,000) were paid by International Medical Group.

Please click on the image below to download the annual summary report which has some further financial details and a few patient stories.

The Overall Aim of Hope Ward is to

cater for the underprivileged in need of high quality complex treatment, who would otherwise not afford this much needed and often life saving care. We intend to do what we can to alleviate the suffering and improve the quantity and quality of life of our patients.

We have some spare capacity in Hope Ward and with additional funding we could help many more needy people in 2011. Please support us in whatever way you can.

Advent: Day 19 Open Heart Surgery

IHK performed its first open heart surgery on April 13th 2007. You can read more here.

OHS is very complex and expensive. Each of these procedures costs about $7,000 (which compared of course to other countries is still very good value for money). Each is performed on a charitable basis, largely due to generous support from Hwan Sung.

So why do we do this, why do we spend so much on one patient when we know that the same funds would help so many others with less complicated conditions?

As mentioned in Day 16 we do debate this on a regular basis.

  • There is a very significant need for such care and treatment. There are many living in Uganda with heart conditions that severely impair the quality, and perhaps reduce the length, of their lives. So these procedures can be life-saving.
  • We have access to some donors who want to support this particular need. These funds are essential as the patients can not afford to meet the cost of the procedure.
  • At IHK the operations are performed by a visiting consultant, Dr Clement Akomea Agyin, a consultant cardiac surgeon currently working in St Anthony’s Hospital London. He is usually accompanied by a perfusionist; Mr. John Francis Nelson has filled this role in the past. The rest of the team is staff at IHK. This is therefore an important way to develop local capacity, training staff that in the future may be able to perform such procedures without assistance from overseas.
  • Each time we perform an OHS camp our management team re-assess the state of equipment and the training levels for staff in the theatres and in the Intensive Care Unit. This drives up our internal standards and capabilities, meaning that we are then more able and better prepared to provide safe, quality care to our other ICU and emergency care patients.

We believe in developing local staff and facilities to perform and deliver across the full spectrum of healthcare, from public health through primary care up to and beyond the tertiary level required for OHS. We are doing this using a financial model that combines local, sustainable private business, IAA Healthcare, and some donor supported initiatives, such as OHS.


Advent: Day 17 Primary Care

International Medical Foundation (IMF) provides public health and primary care to the communities living around IHK and the up-country clinics (mentioned in Day 12). This includes for example: health education, family planning, reproductive health, HIV testing and treatment, immunizations and treatments for the common acute conditions such as malaria, respiratory infections and diarrhea.

We operate these services on a cross-subsidised model, meaning that our community work is not charged for facilities, it does not contribute towards central services such as HR, IT and Finance and some of the clinical staff costs and most of the management staff costs are paid by IHK and IAA (the private-for-profit companies within International Medical Group).

On the whole these community services cost about $7 per patient treated. Some of the services are supported by funded programmes such as Yer Yotkom and Touch Namuwongo, in which case the care and treatments are free of charge to the community. For those services that are not funded we sometimes ask the patient to make a small contribution of up to $3. This is how we are providing the clinic services at Charis-IMC in Lira. The charge for a child with malaria is a flat-fee of just $2 which includes the consultation, test and treatment, which may sometimes need to include IV fluids and an overnight stay on the in-patient ward. The actual cost of these clinical treatments can be as much as $15.

Our thanks and appreciation go out to the sponsoring corporates both in Uganda and from overseas and the many individual supporters and well-wishers from across the globe. Your continued support and funding allows us to continue to extend the scope of our programmes ensuring the provision of more holistic care and treatment.

Child gets life saving brain surgery in Hope Ward at IHK

This from The Observer; Written by TREVOR ARIHO, Wednesday, 28 July 2010 18:32 .

Joy and Bwine are a humble couple that loves their son Mathew Ayebare (Pictured) deeply and have done their best to take care of him.  Mathew is a little over two years old and has been in and out of hospital since he was a year old.

Joy noticed that Mathew at nine months did not seem to respond or behave like her other two children. However, she did not read too much into it at the time. When he made a year, Mathew started getting seizures. When he was taken to hospital, they were told he had epilepsy and he was started on treatment.  But the seizures did not stop.

The anxious young parents took Mathew back to hospital where he had a CT scan that revealed bleeding in his brain. This is when they learned that their son had a very complex and rare congenital defect known as arteriovenous malformation. An arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is when there is abnormal connectivity between arteries and veins. says that most brain AVMs present with a brain hemorrhage (severe headache, nausea, vomiting, and collapse/loss of consciousness). Instant death rate is believed to be at about 10% for first-time hemorrhages from a brain AVM, and this is about the same as the instant mortality rate for first-time brain aneurysm ruptures. Many AVMs present with seizures, and some present with neurological symptoms (paralysis or sensory disturbance) due to the mass of the blood vessel tangle causing direct compression of brain tissue.

Joy and Bwine desperately needed a “miracle” for their son.  They were referred to Dr. Hussein Ssenyonjo who agreed to perform the operation. However, it would be a very complex operation with a long stay in Intensive Care after the operation. The family could not raise money to have the surgery done and; so, they approached Hope Ward at International Hospital Kampala.

Hope Ward is a charity ward at the International Hospital Kampala that partners with various companies, organizations and individuals to provide complex medical treatment for the very needy in Uganda. Sponsors include Bead for Life, Muvule Trust, Stanbic Bank, MTN, Narrow Road, Hwan Sung, Suubi Trust, Bless a Child Foundation, IAA Health Care and the International Hospital Kampala (IHK).

Mathew was admitted to Hope Ward and had a successful surgery at IHK. His family was only asked to contribute Shs 2m out of a total of Shs 6.2m.  The International Hospital covered 30% of the  bill and does the same for all Hope Ward patients. The balance was covered by donations from Hope Ward supporters. Dr. Ssenyonjo waived his fee and his only concern was saving Mathew’s life.

Before surgery, Mathew had a 10% chance of living but his future is much brighter now.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010 18:32

Update from Dr. Richard

Dr. Richard posted the following update about his work at our health centre in Lira, north Uganda. We are working here in collaboration with Charis and Fields of Life. You can read Richard’s Blog here.


Half way through our time now so back to Kampala for debrief.
We prepared a list of areas we need to change to achieve our aims. Some require lots of investment and a discussion as to whether its reasonable to provide the service or not. Some are smaller and relate to training, decor of the centre,use of space, HR issues etc.
Very positive discussions all day. We have a really good team at IHK to support us. Kevin (the CEO) and Dr Andrew started us off in the morning with positive support for our big ideas. Some will require investment from Fields of Life, and hopefully they will agree as they too want affordable care at HC4 level.

Health Centre Level four
Population served 50,000-100,000
The average district has 4-7 level four facilities
In addition to services provided at level three there will be a working operating theatre with twenty four hour C section capability for emergency Caesars.*
Ultrasound should be available with a qualified technician*
Maternal waiting homes are found at this level in some countries and patients may be fed from hospital kitchens. In Uganda the guardian system is operated and relatives have to feed the patients.
Outreach activities by other agencies are often available at these facilities such as tubal ligations by MSI and VVF camps by AMREF.*
Other expected services at level fours:
• Basic dentistry by dental technicians
• DOTS for TB and HAART programmes for HIV*
• Laboratory facilities with a lab technician
• Pharmacy and supply chain to distribute pharmaceuticals and supplies to level three and level two health centers
Staff at level four:
• Qualified doctor in Uganda or in other countries specialist clinical officers
• Clinical officers
• Nurse anaesthetist*
• Midwives
• Nurses
• Laboratory staff
• Pharmacist*
• Nursing aids
An ambulance should be available for referring patients to the district hospital.*

We would really be the only HC4 in Lira municipality(population in the district is 750,000!).There is a referral government hospital but it is overwhemed and serves a population of about 2 million with only 254 beds and skeleton staffing. Other smaller NGO and private health centres but a major problem is staffing and keeping good people, especially doctors and sadly the turnover and often the lack of doctors limits the health service ‘up country’. We will plan to rotate doctors to Lira from Kampala and incentivise them to stay

So, as a result of our discussions, we have ironed the more straight forward issues and agreed that with the Fields of Life support we will provide all the services on this list. Some like our dental services, we can move forward now and some like the Theatre and surgery will take longer. Not too long though, as building in Uganda happens very quickly….planning permission etc what’s that?

Back to Lira today and start to plan the outreach services and o some training.

Thanks to all those supporting Hope Ward Cancer Care

Hope Ward Cancer Care is one of our prime areas of focus this year. You can read below some of our patient stories, click here for a full listing.

Your support is making such a difference.

Dr. Helena and the Oncology Nursing team Aisha, Joshi, Irene and Maria wish to thank all of our sponsors for their generosity and help. Quite simply each gift means life or a better quality of life for each cancer sufferer and helps to relieve, often immeasurable, suffering.

Thank you also to all those who partner with us and facilitate each person’s care. Rapid appropriate referrals have and will continue to save lives.

  • Hospice Africa, who do a great job in finding desperate patients who need oncology support – we currently have 7 patients referred on treatment
  • Bless a Child Foundation who partner with us at every level of cancer prevention, treatment and palliative support
  • Softpower Jinja who kindly assist with treatment and transport – for 3 children at present
  • Corsu – for additional  surgical support
  • Dr. Richard Bogle for his generous gifts of support
  • Sean Clarke and his customers at Kuvuka Cafe.

We set ourselves a target to raise £25,000 in 2010; to date our total raised is £7,796, which is a great start but we have some way to go… please help, you can give online now by clicking here.

Faith: Hope Ward Cancer Care

NB. Express written consent has been obtained by patients or guardians and to protect our clients, real names are ONLY used when the children and their guardians actively request

Faith 12 yrs, when she first arrived at Hope Ward Cancer Clinic in July 2009:

Faith when she first arrived at Hope Ward

We hardly had a smile from Faith for many weeks when she first started chemotherapy for Hodgkins lymphoma. Her father was in despair as Faith was teased and left out by her friends from school. Many thought she was ‘cursed’ and would be afraid to go near her or touch her. Faith is currently doing well on chemotherapy, as you can see in the photo below.

From left to right, Brian, Fiona ('friend' of Hope Cancer Clinic), Faith and Denis on'chemotherapy day'

At Hope Ward Cancer Clinic, we consider holistic care extremely important. We have linked up with several volunteers who will also help us with the task of helping these children smile again and rebuild their lives, despite the tough treatment.

Fiona volunteers herself as ’Auntie’ to the children and has just brought in a box of toys, which is why the kids are grinning!

We also wish to acknowledge NGO Softpower Jinja who initially brought Faith and support 70% of her treatment.

Trade Aid UK

Trade Aid UK supports the Pader Clinic

Trade Aid UK supports the Pader Clinic

Trade Aid UK has donated £6,000 to support the Pader Clinic.

Trade Aid UK seeks to help eliminate the effects of world poverty through sustainable commercial trade.  By providing a top quality sugar product, it aims to give consumers a new choice for this most basic of commodities. At the same time, customers can be confident that they are making a real difference. As an alternative supplier of household sugars, profits generated are donated to help people who are deprived of the basic necessities of life, such as water, food, healthcare and housing.

Suubi Trust is extremely grateful for Trade Aid’s support which they have indicated will be ongoing.  You will find their sugar in Tesco Stores.  Buy it and spread the word and we can reap the benefits!  Visit the Trade Aid website at