Day 3 – Community here we come!

Since 2007, Adara has had the great privilege of partnering with Aspen. It has been an amazing partnership, which has shown us all the exponential power of linking the business sector with those in need in the developing world. Together, we have been able to provide the hospital with a new and expanded neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and a brand new maternity ward. In addition, Aspen helps people living with HIV to stay happy and healthy through various programmes. They also support the preventative arm of the hospital, through community outreach.

Each year, Aspen staff members from offices across the globe come to Kiwoko Hospital in Uganda to see firsthand the impact of this partnership. Every year, they leave inspired. For the next week, the ambassadors will be writing a blog each day about their experience at Kiwoko. Here is day three.

By William Moss

Drums at 6am. We knew morning prayers was going to be big deal. Sneaking in mid song there was an unbridled buzz. More songs are sung, all are up beat, positive and infectious. We introduce ourselves in Luganda which goes down like matoke‎!

After prayers we met Moses; dapper, dedicated and the manager of the Community Based Health Care (CBHC). 15 of us squeeze into a red minibus bumping and rattling along dusty roads to the first village. There’s a lot to be done so speed is important. With every bump, 15 heads bounce off the ceiling but the suspension comes from being packed in so tight. Outside it’s very rural -elephant grass, huts and spatterings of crops, usually maize.

First up we drop off the vaccinations team who set up baby scales hanging from the mango tree and some kit for jabs. Next we visited Joshua who has epilepsy following cerebral malaria as a baby. The tight knit community had alerted Moses and for the last 8 years the CBHC has given Joshua a quality of life that would otherwise have been denied him. Now Joshua gets the treatment he needs and has not had a fit for over 9 months and loves his school. Moses knows a phenomenal amount of people, the best part of 40,000 and his team provide incredible services to schools and villages including immunisations, anti and post natal care, female adolescent health, mental health and community health education. We then visited a school where we discussed the challenges for health against a myriad of cultural beliefs. This followed with a visit to a family house where the CBHC have implemented disease preventative sanitation.

When we returned to the vavcinations team a rave had started. The medics travel with a singing dancing booty shaking drama team who attract, entertain and educate the crowds. Moses the music producer has got his hands on some very professional sounding songs that educate about health and disease. There was the best part of 150 people at this event and it undoubtedly works in engaging the community. The vaccination programme that has been implemented has been so successful that Kiwoko have been able to close down their measles ward.

These programmes make such a difference and the appreciation for the Adara and Aspen partnership here is indescribable. Our support goes such a long way.

Still time to sponsor us for the Chase!

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