Working trip to Busamaga, 2-9th Sept 2012
The SHAPE team comprised of Dr Paul Hutt (retired Nuclear Physicist), John Farragher (carpenter/builder), Emma Sandbach (Public Health) and myself, Julie Garnham (Registered Nurse). We met with our Ugandan partners from International Great Faith Ministries (IGFM) in Kampala on Monday 3rd September and traveled together to Busamaga arriving 10pm on the Monday evening.
The trip was a huge success and over the course of the next 4 days we were able to achieve the following:
- we delivered 1000 long lasting insecticide treated bed nets directly to the residents of several new rural villages and combined this with an education program regarding their correct use.
- we distributed vitamin A capsules to hundreds of children/adults and provided education regarding the importance of eating vitamin A rich foods.
- we delivered a blood pressure machine to Buteza Health Centre and educated the staff in its use. This is the first blood pressure machine that they have owned and they were delighted with it.
- we also delivered 175 malaria testing kits to Buteza Health Centre and educated the staff in their use. This means that all children/adults who present with high fever can be correctly diagnosed as to whether the cause of the fever is malaria or not. This is critical to ensure the correct treatment for the fever is given.
- we delivered many lovely blankets knitted by the “Knit and Natter” club, these were very well received and appreciated.
It was reported that the incidence of malaria in the area is subsiding,
in 2009/10 when Dr Neil Fletcher undertook
the first SHAPE visit to this region many cases of malaria were
identified so we know the bed net programme is working.
Despite this during the course of the week we picked up 5 positive cases
of malaria, all in young children.
These were treated with the standard 3 day tablet regime CO-ARTEM. This
is a highly effective treatment that is used in many countries.
SHAPE now needs to focus on further fundraising so that the next visit to this region can be planned. In 2014, the 1000 bed nets that were distributed by SHAPE in 2010 will need to be replaced as they will be four years old (all bed nets have to be replaced at this point), this will be a huge expense and we would also like to branch out to more villages that have yet to be the recipients of any bed nets.