Mahango Health Center III
Located about 15km from Kasese town in western Uganda. This is an in-patient health center managed by one in-charge supported by one volunteer. The health center has an in-patient capacity of seven (7 patients is the maximum number of patients that can be admitted at any one given time). Most beds are bare, with no mattresses or any other beddings. It has a delivery unit that it grossly ill-equipped. Even water for washing hands or equipment used during delivery is not there. It has to be got a short distance away. The volunteer and in-charge often get overwhelmed by the number of patients who come to the health center that they are simply unable to keep it up to standard. The health center serves both adults and children and it tries as much as possible to avoid admitting patients unless they are in critical conditions.
Women who deliver from the health center need to come with their delivery kits because of the lack of equipment. The center does not have mosquito nets to protect patients from contracting malaria through mosquito bites. It is in dire need of both equipment and health personnel.
In spite of all these shortcomings, the volunteers and the in-charge try their best to treat patients. They use what they have to ensure that every patient who is brought leaves when he or she is better. Critical cases are referred to higher level health facilities.
Save the Children is working towards changing such health conditions that are experienced by a big percentage of health facilities in Uganda. 2011 Advocacy agenda is focusing on urging the government of Uganda to increase the number of health workers, especially midwives, at community level. Basic health services at community level are so wanting. It is for this reason that Save the Children is calling upon the government to recruit more health workers.
Save the Children is also training village health teams in providing essential newborn care. Where the health workers are missing, members of village health teams work with communities, advising women to deliver from a health facility. The challenge is to ensure that the health facility is well equipped to receive the expectant mothers and carry out safe deliveries.
Save the Children is trying to fill the equipment gap by providing neonatal equipment to some health facilities that have delivery units. However much more is needed. The call for more health workers is loud and clear. Facilities like Mahango Health Center III can make a huge difference in preventing maternal and newborn deaths by increasing its health workforce by 3 trained health workers.
Join the call for more health workers in Uganda and see the pleasant surprise of saving lives just by increasing the health workforce.