Access to health care facilities is almost non-existent in the rural countryside areas of Uganda, and many stigmas about the origins of diseases and medical treatments still exist in these communities. However, if health care facilities and affordable services are made accessible to the local people in these rural areas, debilitating diseases like HIV, TB, and Malaria can be managed and treated, which then increases awareness about the true origins and transmission methods of diseases and leads to improved prevention practices in the community. In addition, increased access to basic health services in rural areas can dramatically increase a young child’s chances of surviving past the age of 5.
Due to the severe lack of basic health facilities in the villages near Pallisa, Uganda, Man Up and Go partnered with Kerith Ministries in 2014 to establish and open a brand new freestanding community health clinic on the same property as the Kerith Children’s Home. The goal of the clinic is to operates at reduced costs for the vulnerable people living in rural Osupa Village and the surrounding areas outside of Pallisa. Kerith Health Center officially opened in January 2015, and currently offers medical consultations, lab testing, minor surgical procedures, wound care, administration of IV medications, and full pharmacy services to over 30,000 villagers in the surrounding communities as well as to the children who live at Kerith Children’s Home. In addition to these standard services, Kerith Health Center partners with the Ugandan Ministry of Health to provide vital vaccines to local children through free immunization events and also serves as an official outreach location for free community clinic days and other important health education events. At the present time, Kerith Health Center is operated by 4 full-time medical staff: 1 Clinical Officer, 1 Nurse, 1 Enrolled Nurse, & 1 Cleaner, as well as 1 part-time Lab Technician.
In the future, the clinic hopes to be able to expand its services to provide full maternal and delivery services to women, as it is currently estimated that around 80% of women in the surrounding villages give birth on the floor of their mud hut homes without the presence of a qualified nurse, doctor, or midwife. This hope is nearing a reality, as Man Up and Go has helped to construct a staff quarters within 500 feet of the clinic, thus making 24-hour care possible. This staff quarters is slated to open in Fall of 2016.
As the clinic continues to grow, impact the lives of families in the community, and work towards its goal of self-sustaining by the summer of 2017, it’s our prayer that Kerith Health Center will serve as a successful model for many other clinics in the region. By providing access to safe and affordable health care in the context of a loving, Christ-honoring facility, we are able to meet the most basic needs of people. It's our conviction that when all of God's children are more educated about how He has created us and how we can satisfy the both physical and spiritual hungers of life, that human flourishing can exist. We believe fewer fatherless children will exist 20 years from now in this community in part because of the Kerith Health Center.