Africa News and Activities
Jimmy Banda from Malawi Three Month Report in India
November 24, 2019
Our IMET2000 Scholar studying for an MSc in Clinical Research in Sharda University, India has just sent us his three month report. Not surprisingly he has had quite a difficult time socially as missing his family and surviving financially on a meagre income in a foreign society. He has settled down and is enjoying the course and is highly motivated to complete and gain a great deal from it to translate to students in Malawi when he returns home. We are pleased to support him.
More About the SNAP Programme in Ghana
November 23, 2019
ATE coordinates monthly support groups in the three villages Lawra Town, Dowine and ESONG Jirapa . These provide a lifeline for isolated disabled children to socialise and play, and for their parents/caregivers to come together and meet families with shared experiences. Through these SNAP Meetings, ATE provides workshops on health and care, inviting speakers in from other organisations. Adults learn whilst children enjoy interactive activities. We provide a large meal for all who attend, as many have very limited access to food. Monthly SNAP meetings are run by our SNAP Project Leader, Kaamil Issahaku and SNAP Playscheme Coordinator, Ernestina Gan in partnership with a committee of parents of disabled children from the SNAP membership.
We deliver a twice weekly play scheme in our purpose built Inclusion Centre in the centre of Lawra. This beautiful space, full of light, colour and wonderful resources, is the perfect location for us to provide educational play activities for our disabled children. Our super SNAP Play Scheme Coordinator, Ernestina, is supported to deliver this programme by a group of disability specialist and teachers in the UK. Together, they plan interactive, fun and educational play for children who travel long distances to join us on Tuesdays and Thursdays of each week. The two hour session helps the children to develop social skills, basic literacy and numeracy, and to enjoy learning. Parents (almost 100% mothers and grandmothers) are encouraged to join in with their children, or to relax and enjoy a cup of tea whilst chatting to other parents in similar situations – this has a profound effect reducing the isolation and loneliness which is so common amongst these heroic women.
ATE takes on significant case work in the areas of medical care, access to education and access to social welfare. We work on an individual basis with families to ensure they are able to access all government services that are available. Kaamil Issahaku, SNAP Project Lead is an experienced ex-civil servant with excellent understanding of government processes. Kaamil uses his knowledge and respected position in the community to fight for the rights of the disabled children we work with. He works with parents to enroll children in mainstream and special schools, facilitates access to specialist medical assessment and equipment and makes sure they receive medical care when unwell, and works with families to access financial support available from the government.
IMET2000 Support for Salary of Kaamil Issahaku in Ghana
November 21, 2019
IMET2000 is continuing and increasing its support for the wonderful work our affiliated charity ATE does in Ghana with seriously disabled children (Special Needs Awareness Programme or SNAP). We are now committed to pay the salary for a whole year for Kaamil Issahaku. The CEO of ATE, Sarah Gardner, has sent this brief bio of this man.
'Kaamil Issahaku is a dynamic, young and energetic man from a renowned Muslim family in the Lawra community of Zongo. He has worked at the office of the Lawra Municipal Assembly for the past 10 years as a Community Information Centre Manager. Having worked in collaboration with the Municipal Social Welfare and Community Development Office and having been in frequent contact with people living with disabilities, Kaamil was moved to become an advocate for people living with disabilities. When he saw the role of SNAP Project Lead being advertised he decided to apply so that he could contribute to the development of SNAP and ATE’s work, so that ‘together we can put smiles on the faces of the vulnerable in our society’ and grant them their rights free from discrimination. Kaamil is now our Senior Manager in Lawra. As well as leading our SNAP work, he is responsible for senior administration and has many line management responsibilities.’
Latest Progress in Phase 3 Construction of Herona Hospital
November 30, 2019
Construction of the outer shell of the ground floor of Herona Hospital is now well under way and once completed the roof slab will be built above. At this rate of progress, this will be waterproofed by Christmas and inner walls can then be built inside. In fact, we are a little ahead of schedule and IMET2000 is well pleased with progress. Once this Phase 3 is completed and the container now en route for Uganda arrives full of beds and equipment, Herona Hospital will have all the essential wards and some 40-50 beds to be fully registered with the Ministry of Health in Uganda.
More Equipment to Herona Hospital in Uganda
November 25, 2019
Our IMET2000 official representative in Uganda Richard Field and the Director of Herona Hospital Dr Henry Garvin Mukalazi have written kind words to acknowledge the safe gathering, storage and packing for shipment of equipment for their hospital: "A massive thank you and congratulations to IMET2000 Trustee Kathy Green. All the hard work and sleepless nights have paid off. From sourcing, purchase, collecting, engraving and wrapping a huge consignment of equipment followed by filling in forms, making endless phone calls and loading the container (see the pictures), miraculously Kathy has made it all come together. Today, we saw the 40ft container packed up and sent on its way to Uganda. Bon voyage! It is a huge achievement which will change Herona Hospital beyond recognition."
Richard Field Officially Appointed IMET2000 Representative in Uganda
October 27, 2019
After working in Uganda for over seven years in the Ebenezer Kisoboko Children’s Home and since 2017 helping IMET2000 start the Herona Hospital project as our Field Officer in Uganda on a voluntary basis, the Executive Committee has invited him to be the official IMET2000 Representative in Uganda on a consultancy basis. Richard has accepted happily. Our Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee are delighted to have somebody so devoted to these two important programmes in Uganda at the helm and able to spend precious time out there to ensure our projects are working well. He is also responsible as Safeguarding Officer that our many children are fully protected. We are also delighted that Richard has recruited Dick (Richard Lubowa) to run the EK Home and the Triumph programme (in both of which IMET2000 has invested substantially) and also work as the local Safeguarding Officer for both EK and Triumph. In one photo taken in February 2019, bearded Richard is shown with Kathy Green, Colin Green and Aunt (who acts as a wonderful cook and mother figure for the 21 children in the Home). In the other is Dick who is committed and dedicated to the children too and runs the Home very well for us.
Visit of Patrick and Nina Paul to Herona Hospital
October 24, 2019
On October 17 th, Patrick and Nina Paul who widely and generously support our work in Africa flew out to Uganda to visit Herona Hospital and the Ebenezer Kisoboka Childrens Home in both of which they have a major interest. They were met at the airport by our Field Officer Richard Field and the Director of Herona hospital, Dr Garvin Mukalazi and driven to Mukono District and their hotel. They then had two very intensively programmed days including visits to the Hospital and to the Home as well as driving in the ambulance and visiting a village for one of our outreach clinics. Richard reports back that they were really impressed by progress and the fact that so many patients are now coming through the doors for treatment (near 5000 per month). Patrick now wants to meet Colin Green in London when they return from Uganda to plan a future strategy and address the issue of long-term sustainability of both enterprises. All agreed that this was a very successful visit.
Some Villages We Reach Out to Are Desperately Poor
October 8, 2019
The ambulance that IMET2000 purchased earlier this year from Japan is absolutely essential in our outreach programme to distant villages many of which are desperately poor. It is in constant use and so far running well often across rough tracks and lanes. The images here show you a very poor village in a lovely lakeside setting. All the treatments we offer are entirely free and the only health provision they have.
Ghana: SNAP Programme for Disabled Children
We are proud to support in a very limited way the Action Through Enterprise (ATE) programme (SNAP) for disabled children in the poorest part of Ghana in the north. In this video, John, a child with only one arm has amazingly learnt to sew helped by Ernestina Gan who is ATE’s full time Play Scheme Co-ordinator. The SNAP programme has proven so successful in Lawra that it now has groups in other poor villages in the north, in this case in Dowine where John is a member of that SNAP group. For more information on this programme please go to the website (www.ateghana.org).
Message From Jimmy Banda in India
My name is Jimmy Banda from Malawi and I am a registered student of an MSc degree in the Clinical Research programme at Sharda University, New Delhi, India. Currently I am in my first semester of a two year programme.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Colin and IMET2000 for selecting me as the recipient of the prestigious scholarship award towards my education.I feel very lucky and blessed to have been chosen by IMET2000 for this great honour.
I was raised in an extremely cash strapped low- class family of seven children and in a typical rural village. Although my parents have always emotionally supported my education dreams they can not help me pay for my university.But because of IMET2000 generosity my heavy financial load has been lightened. When I received the IMET 2000 Scholarship in the mail,I literally sat for a good thirty minutes with tears of joy. I could not believe that it was happening to me after so much hardship.
To me education is very important because I will be equipped with the power to make better decisions and improve the degree of citizen participation in affairs concerning my country Malawi.Upon completion of my MSc in Clinical Research at Sharda University ,I am very optimistic that I will have the potential to address many challenges that affect people of Malawi such as poverty,HIV and AIDS, malaria and food insecurity just to mention a few, as I will be able to work with the Government of Malawi to study individual and community behaviour and bring this together with basic biology in order to plan appropriate interventions that improve health. I will also be able to transfer research findings to policies leading to improved health of people in Malawi.
I would like to be a clinical researcher who will make a significant difference for patients and contribute to regional and national wide studies of underlying health issues.I would like to survey Malawian Communities and investigate ongoing trends in medical treatments and provide critical answers to medical concerns ,giving peace of mind to patients and family members.
I believe a systematic education at Sharda University will be vital for my future career as a clinical researcher in that it will allow me to incorporate India research and Malawi realities.I will be able to perform some creative work in reforming Malawi's existing research system and make it serve a greater multitude of people.
I deem my study at Sharda University as a very meaningful part of my career trajectory and thank you Professor Colins and IMET2000 for making it possible through the scholarship and please do not down play the difference you have made . It means more than I can say.
Visual Impairment Mission from Italy
Herona Hospital was fortunate to have Dr Duccio and his team of optometrists from Vagnini in Florence visit and work in the new Eye Clinic over last weekend in one of our ‘Eye Camps’ They screened over 300 patients. After testing they gave out reading spectacles to those who needed them and sent off prescriptions for others; their glasses are already being made and will be provided free of charge. Many patients were found to have cataracts and glaucoma. We are planning a free cataract operation camp when all the operating theatre equipment arrives in October. Herona Hospital would like to extend a big thank you to Dr Duccio and his time.
Herona Hospital Departmental Report for July, 2019
August 1, 2019
Herona Hospitals Departmental Report for July 2019 demonstrates the incredible increase in patients coming through the door each month (near to 5000) and the variety of services being offered.
Radiology/scan. =158 scans performed
Laboratory worked on 658 patients, 289 were tested for HIV all those who were positive are counselled and treated with free ARVs
General outpatients received = 4689 patients
Eye clinic =321 of whom 189 had allergic conjunctivitis, squint = 1, photophobia 28, refractive error 17, cataract 41 and normal. 40
Referrals in= 214
Referrals out=32 (referred for X-ray and CT scan)
After final meetings with Government MoH officials, the team are delighted to announce that HHL has been officially approved and will be supplied with free anti-retroviral drugs in the near future.Construction of the mortuary and incinerator is nearly complete, plastering is finished and the tiling has commenced.
Visual Impairment Outreach Clinic in Local School
As an extension of our new Eye Clinic and campaign to upgrade the service in visual impairment, Herona Hospital are stepping up the number of outreach clinics and concentrating more effort on assessing schoolchildren and treating them early enough to prevent deterioration.
IMET 2000 Travel Bursary Award
July 20 , 2019
Dr Jimmy Banda who is a physician in Malawi has been awarded a scholarship by Sharda University School of Medicine to study in India for two years leading to an MSc in Clinical Research. Jimmy and his family are making a huge financial sacrifice to enable him to take up this offer. They are selling their own house and his wife and children are moving in with elderly parents whilst he is away in India. IMET has agreed to award him a travel bursary and scholarship of $3000 per year as we trust him to return with skills much needed in Malawi. We expect he will not only provide a much improved clinical service but take up an academic post in the School of Medicine in Blantyre and hence provide added value for students.
Children From the Local Blind School to Herona Eye Clinic
July 6, 2019
Children from the Kisoga Blind School now under the regular care of the Herona Hospital Eye Clinic checking in for examination and treatment of preventable blindness from conditions such as trachoma and onchocerciasis. This service is provided absolutely free.
Free Cervical Cancer Vaccination: Important School Visit
July 5, 2019
Cancer of the cervix (Ca Cx) is the most common gynaecological malignancy among women in Uganda contributing about 80% of all female malignancies. The incidence rate is 40:100 000. It is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in females in Uganda. Unfortunately, 80% of the patients present late and this makes treatment outcomes unsatisfactory. Most patients can only be treated with palliative care. With support from the government we carried out free immunisation of girls between 8 - 10 yrs against cervical cancer.
This vaccination provides lifetime protection against human papilloma virus responsible for causing cancer of the cervix.
This is why Herona Hospital Health Camp Clinics are vitally important.
Special Needs Awareness Programme ( SNAP) in Ghana
June 27, 2019
The latest news from Lawra, Upper Ghana (http://www.ateghana.org):
Last week we launched our SNAP Playscheme, to which IMET generously made a donation. We’ve been working towards this for some time, and are absolutely thrilled to see so many families present for the first sessions. This is now open every Tuesday and Thursday at our incredible Inclusion Centre and provides educational play activities for disabled children, and a support group for their parents. The long term hope is that we will build relationships with the families, and ultimately be able to enable better access to opportunities for education and healthcare. Ernestina Gan, ATE’s Playscheme coordinator, has done a fantastic job in getting this initiative started, with excellent support from other staff, volunteers and a team of disability specialists in the UK.
The children and parents enjoying the first session
June 25, 2019
Brun Bear Foundation Grant
We are grateful to the Brun Bear Foundation for a generous grant of £1000 toward a brand new infant incubator. This is a much needed addition to our maternal and baby health programmes.
Free Health Days
June 20, 2019
Herona Hospital have linked with remote village leaders and school head teachers to organise ‘health days'. On these health days, social workers and health practitioners travel to remote areas as far away as 50 km and provide free services including:
HIV testing and counselling
Dental examinations and extractions
Prenatal care and counselling
The ambulance is proving absolutely invaluable for the outreach clinics and school visits.
Our Clinics Reach the Remote Villages
May 24, 2019
Outreach clinic for family planning and maternity health education. Our IMET funded ambulance is absolutely vital to the success of our outreach programme in which we sometimes drive over 50 km to a remote village which otherwise has no access to any health care.
Outreach Clinics Provides many Services for Residents
May 16, 2019
Outreach clinic in MPATTA: the latest outreach clinic was held in Mpatta. The PA system on the ambulance was able to alert people about the clinic well before arrival and described the services offered including free eye tests, free HIV testing and among many other tests and treatments. The service also now includes screening men over 40 for enlarged prostate. The three images provide some idea of the working conditions in these remote and economically challenged rural villages.
Phase 2 Basement Surgical Suite
May 16, 2019
We are delighted that the whole of the Phase 2 basement area construction is complete and both the Eye Clinic and the Surgical Operating Suite have been opened. As the latter is the only one in the area, we are delighted to report some very important work last week .
People from Ntenjeru Sub County and surrounding villages with breast adenomas, inguinal scrotal hernia, lipomas and other surgical conditions all had free treatment conducted by a team of Ugandan and visiting USA surgeons. All these operations were successful; the patients are fine with no post- operative complications. The entire community is grateful. The USA team were impressed by the facilities in the operating theatre and surprised we had at IMET expense built in air conditioning. They also expressed how impressed they were by the quality of our theatre nursing staff. At the end of their stay they indicated they would like to return as soon as in three months.
We hope they will be back to carry on the great work.
Eye Clinic at Herona Hospital
May 14, 2019
The first patients were admitted to the Eye Clinic on the 12th May, 2019 and in this photograph you can see a patient being examined through our slit-lamp. In other images you can see our new dedicated ophthalmic surgery theatre ready for the first patients at the end of July,2019 once equipment already being shipped from the UK has arrived. The fitting room has hundreds of spectacles already being supplied on a fitting trial and error basis. All of this will be upgraded in the next four months.
Herona Hospital Construction
Our man in Uganda Richard Field has put together an up to date series of images on You Tube showing the construction from April 2017 of the Herona Hospital project with the financial support of IMET2000.
Please click on to the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gkrhuGn6K0 to follow this important piece of our history as a global charity. Garvin and Richard have planned this together so carefully with much support from Ugandan colleagues and input from their hospital staff.
Ambulance Working Through Extreme Conditions
May 12, 2019
Getting to remote villages is not always easy for our outreach clinics. Our ambulance is well able to cope with muddy and rough murram roads, lanes and in some cases paths to their destination as it has 4-wheel drive. It has already paid for its cost in lives saved (10 serious cases of road accidents per week on average). Another case of childbirth emergency was reported only last week. A pregnant woman from Katosi was given a scan on arrival at Herona Hospital. The pregnancy was 27 weeks but the scan showed a premature rupture of the membranes (PROM) . She explained she had already lost 3 babies to the same condition. Although we do have an incubator at HHL it was decided the baby would have a higher chance of survival at a larger city hospital with larger neo-natal unit. So she was taken with a midwife in the ambulance. On the way the mother pushed and the birth started. Luckily the ambulance is well equipped and has plenty of the room. The birth was carried out successfully and mother and baby are doing fine. Everyone could not be happier.
Successful delivery of a healthy baby
April 28, 2019
A caesarean section and successful delivery of a healthy baby in our small maternity theatre. We are much looking forward to greatly improved conditions when the new surgical suite opens in May in the Phase 2 basement.
Vaccination Programme Improving
April 20, 2019
Mothers waiting with babies for vaccination: the take-up on our vaccination programmes is improving significantly month by month through our publicity and outreach clinics.
The Phase 2 Basement at Herona Hospital
April 20, 2019
The Phase 2 basement construction and decoration is nearly complete and now needs to be equipped to modern standards. It will accommodate the Eye Clinic, a modern Surgical Operating Theatre Suite, a 10 bed High Dependency Ward, a modern X-Ray Suite complete with Philips X-Ray Machine and a large storage space.
Paul Bockett-Pugh is Fundraising for IMET2000 Activities in Africa
April 10, 2019
Paul Bockett-Pugh, a keen supporter of IMET’s work overseas , is running in the Paris 26 mile Marathon on Sunday 14th April and all sponsorship proceeds will go to our IMET Eye Clinic project in Uganda (www.herona.org). For more information and if you wish to make a donation towards this cause please follow the link to Paul’s Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/paul-bockett-pugh1
The First Day of Service for the Ambulance of Herona Hospital
March 30, 2019
The first day of service for the ambulance proved crucial. A 65 year old man was attacked by robbers and stabbed in the lungs. He was bought to Herona Hospital where they treated him but his condition grew worse and after a scan it was discovered he had intra-abdominal bleeding and needed to be referred. At this point it would usually take around 4 hours to raise an ambulance and get to a Kampala hospital; the ambulances often carry no medical equipment and the patient would have probably died on the way. With our ambulance at the ready, fully equipped with oxygen and life support fluids, the patient was rushed to Kampala where he was successfully treated.
Herona Hospital is so grateful to everyone who made this possible.
A MoH Delegation Visited our Hospital
March 13, 2019
We were very pleased to receive visitor's from the Government last week. The visitors from the Ministry of Health were led by Dr Joseph Okware, who represented the Permanent Secretary. He was joined by the Mukono District Health Officer, Dr Elly Tumushabe, her Deputy, Mr Dumba Isaac, as well as senior officials in the local Health Sector, Mrs Musenero Samalie and Hon Lukyamuzi. Everyone was very impressed with the facility and the plans for the future. We have enjoyed excellent support and advice from all these friends in Mukono District and hope to have close links and support in future projects backed by the national Government.
Richard Introduction Party in Uganda
February 16, 2019
Our Man in Uganda has been engaged to Peace for some years and they have decided to get married. This is wonderful news. Peace is so supportive of all our IMET2000 work in Uganda and helps Richard get things done both in the Ebenezer Childrens Home and in Herona Hospital.
On Saturday 16th February they had a big celebration party known there as The Introduction and is what we would call an Engagement Party.
All of us in IMET2000 congratulate them on their joining together and wish them every happiness.
Hepatitis B Awareness Project in Companies
January 20, 2019
Herona Hospital has started a hepatitis B awareness project in schools, churches and companies as a method of primary prevention of hepatitis B. Garvin has been very busy giving awareness talks about hepatitis b and its long term effects on health.
More than 2 billion people worldwide are estimated to have had hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and 350 million chronic carriers of the virus are at high risk of cirrhosis of the liver and primary liver cancer. HBV accounts for an estimated 500,000–700,000 annual deaths worldwide. It is a big problem in Uganda.
Program to Defeat the TB Epidemic in Uganda
November 20, 2018
Herona Hospital is proud to now be a part of USAID Defeat TB, a 5 year project between 2017-2022 and linking different selected hospitals to Makerere University Medical School. The aim is to end the TB epidemic in Uganda by:
Increasing screening and detection of all forms of TB
Initiating complete treatments for all patients diagnosed with all forms of TB
Ensuring strong community systems to support the continuum of TB prevention, screening, diagnosis, care and treatment
Enhancing leadership and technical capacity of the TB program at national and sub national levels to effectively guide and manage implementation of TB control activities.
Herona Hospital would like to thank Mukono District Health Officer Dr Tumushabe Elly for linking us to this project.
Vaccines have been Provided for Babies at Herona Hospital
November 18, 2018
Through the Uganda Ministry of Health, Herona Hospital has been provided with vaccines and a dedicated refrigerator so that mothers will be able to have their babies vaccinated at regular intervals instead of waiting a full month as was the case previously. This has all come about with the help of the District Health Officer Dr Tumushabe Elly and Assistant District Health Officer, Mr Dumba Issac who is also officer in charge of child and maternal health. Herona Hospital would also like to thank Mr Sserunjoji district cold chain officer in charge of immunisation, who trained staff on how to handle the vaccines.
All vaccines are provided by the government and are FREE. Efficient immunisation against a whole range of diseases including a programme for girls of 12-16 to prevent cervical cancer lays the foundations of all preventive medicine. This is one of the most important aims of our outreach clinics; spread the word to ensure a high % take-up.
Blood Bank at Herona Hospital, Uganda
October 21, 2018
Herona Hospital staff are pleased to announce that after an inspection by the quality assistance officers from the Uganda National Transfusion Services, they are now stocking blood.
This is hugely important to the area as getting blood up until now has meant long expensive journeys to Kampala.
Everyone's very excited for the ability to offer this new service.
The King's Visit to Herona Hospital
October 7, 2018
Ronald Muwenda Mutebi Il, Kabaka of the Kingdom of Buganda came to visit Herona Hospital on October 7th. It was the culmination of a lot of hard work and the biggest day yet for the hospital and everyone involved.
As well as meeting the staff and patients at the hospital the king planted a tree and laid the foundation stone for the brand new eye clinic.
Crowds gathered to see the king and TV stations from all over Uganda were present.
London to Brighton Cycle Ride
September 16, 2018
Kathy Green and Dan Morris triumphant at the end of their cycle ride from London to Brighton. They completed in 5 hours. With 93 generous donors they exceeded their target and raised over £8000 toward the much needed ambulance in Herona Hospital.