Since 2007, Sustain for Life has worked closely with Bwindi Community Hospital in southwest Uganda, providing support in a variety of ways, including sponsoring a feeding programme for its valuable staff members. We are currently looking at other ways in which we can support the hospital, including creating a subsidised feeding programme for all in-patients and developing gardens on-site to provide valuable food and nutrition for those who need it the most.
The programme ensures that all doctors, nurses and ancillary/support workers involved in all aspects of the hospital’s activities, have access to regular food to allow them to do their jobs to the very best of their ability without having to worry about where their next meal is coming from. With a relatively small amount of funding we are able to ensure that the over 100 members of the Bwindi Community Hospital team are able to achieve their mission to offer excellent health services and preventative care to some 60,000 people living in the region.
Bwindi Community Hospital is located twelve hours drive from Kampala, the capital of Uganda, on poor roads, two kilometres from the Eastern border of the Congo. Most of the people served by the hospital are farmers or herders who live without running water and electricity. Many walk for hours daily to collect water and firewood, and most families survive on less than $1 a day. Even under normal circumstances, their ability to afford a balanced diet every day is quite limited. This problem gets significantly worse when these poverty stricken people get admitted to the hospital. Unlike in most Western hospitals, patient meals are not provided by the hospital. Without food or proper nutrition patients are much more susceptible to catching diseases and their recovery period increases significantly.
Sustain for Life is seeking funding to create a subsidised feeding programme for all in-patients at Bwindi Community Hospital. It is our aim to provide three quality meals for all in-patients at the hospital on a scaled basis, so that the poorest of the poor pay nothing at all. In addition to providing essential food for those in need, the programme will also involve nutritional education for local people. By using the hospital’s demonstration garden, parents and families will be shown how to grow a balanced diet and how to cook a nutritious meal at home.
For patients, this is likely to be one of the few occasions many of them will have had access to nutrition/food on a regular basis and is aimed, primarily, at promoting recovery from ill-health as quickly and successfully as possible. Eventually, we will develop vegetable gardens on site at the hospital which will significantly lower the cost of purchasing food for this programme. Read more
Bwindi Community Hospital is located in the village of Buhoma close to the northern entrance of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, providing health care to some of the poorest people in the world. In this area malnutrition, malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and diarrhoea are the biggest killers.
The Hospital started life as a weekly outreach clinic conducted under a tree but has now grown to a permanent presence providing a wide range of health care services including acute medical care, outpatient clinics, maternal care and family planning, vaccinations, HIV/AIDS testing, treatment and education, hearing and vision clinics, outreach and much more. Altogether, the hospital is relied upon by more than 60,000 people but it is an especially important place to the Batwa Pygmies who are specifically targeted by a variety of outreach and development projects. Having developed a reputation for high quality services, Bwindi Community Hospital also attracts people with more complex problems from further away, often travelling for many days by foot for treatment.