Teso Health Appeal (THA) is a fundraising to raise 20 billion Uganda shillings by the end of 2017 to improve health services in Teso. improving health services will be achieved through an ambitious Teso Health Programme (THP) that seeks to improve community outreach health services and the provision of specialised and advanced health services for Teso and surrounding regions.
Up to 75% of the disease burden in Uganda is due to preventable causes such as lack of good hygiene and sanitation practices. According the 2006 UDHS, 59% of the households have pit latrines; 77% have access to safe water sources; 75% live in houses made of temporary material; and 14% of persons wash hands with soap. In terms of nutrition, 38% of children under five years in Uganda are stunted, 16% are underweight, and 6% are wasted. Poor nutritional health outcomes are associated with poor nutrition of mother where more than 12% of women of reproductive age have chronic energy deficiency while 17% are overweight. A combination of poor state of health services, high cost of health services and socio-cultural practices make 60% of the people seek health services from traditional healers.
Non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer, hypertension and AIDS are increasing. For example, 50% of gynaecological admission in Mulago Hospital are due cervical cancer. In addition, specialised services such as Ear, Nose and Throat, Ophthalmology, and Orthopaedics, among other are inadequate in Teso. Further, advanced diagnostic services such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan (MRI), endoscopy, blood analysis etc. are equally lacking. Available specialised and advanced health and diagnostic services are mainly available in Mulago hospital, and general Kampala area. This is too far and expensive for ordinary people and thus limits access.
There is 1 regional referral hospital, 8 district hospitals and about 20 Health Centre IV health facilities in Teso. However, these hospitals are not effective and efficient as the following quote illustrates. “The limited management capacity in most hospitals; inadequate transport and communication systems; inadequate basic emergency infrastructure, supplies, equipment and finance; and the shortage of human resources affect the efficiency and effectiveness of the hospital operations” (HSSP III: 47). Because of this, referral is also poor. “Referral systems from lower to higher levels do not function well and effective support supervision of hospitals at all levels is lacking” HSSP III: 47. It is because of this state of affairs in the existing hospitals that an additional, independently owned and managed by the community, is necessary.
- Rational for the Programme
IWA community health services will improve access to health promotion and disease prevention among communities with limited access to health services. Improving community health will in addition reduce the need for hospital services. Further, a mobile community health outreach programme is necessary to educate communities about the use of safe and clean water, safe human excreta management, proper solid and liquid waste disposal, practicing good personal, domestic and food hygiene and promotion behavioural change and practices. It will also improve nutritional status of under-fives, children of school going age, women of reproductive age, the elderly, among others. Fundamentally, community health outreach programmes will increase community health knowledge, change their attitudes and practices and ultimately tackling the major determinants of health outcomes.
The state-of-the-art hospital or IWA SOTA Hospital will have the following benefits: Provision of specialised and advanced health services presently lacking in the region. This will eliminate the need for patients to travel to Mulago, Lacor, Kalong, Matany hospitals, and recently Mt. Elgon hospital, Mbale, all in search of advanced care.
IWA SOTA Hospital will have advanced medical equipment, technology and specialists. Because of this, IWA SOTA hospital will be a referral to the existing hospitals an aspect which will improve the quality of health services. Further to this, an additional hospital will mean more people will be accessing health services.
IWA SOTA Hospital will be a centre of excellence in health care in the region. Working in partnership with medical schools and universities in the region, the hospital will contribute to training more health workers and in advanced medicine. By training and retraining existing health workers, IWA SOTA Hospital will contribute to increasing the number of health care providers in the region.
There is presently no health research centre in the region. An IWA owned and controlled SOTA hospital will be able to undertake research to support evidence-based medicine. The different units of the hospital independently and in collaboration with local and international universities and hospitals will carry out health research.
A SOTA hospital will enable us to repatriate medical expertise from the medical fraternity of the daughters and sons of Teso in the diaspora. A modern hospital will offer our kith and kin an opportunity to improve the health of our people provide treatment through tele medicine, or occasionally come over to treat patients. By doing this, we will eliminate the need to fly abroad for treatment. Our hospital will be able to fly specialists to carry out treatment, instead of patients going abroad.
A new, large and modern hospital has wider social and economic benefits. First, people will be healthy and healthy people will be productive. Second, a locally based hospital will reduce the cost of health care. Thirdly, a hospital will employ about 200 workers who will boost the local economy, among other benefits.
- Goal of the Programme
The overall goal of Teso Health Programme is to improve the health of the people in Teso sub-region region and surrounding areas through the provision of better community health services, provision of specialised and advanced health services, training of health workers and health research.
- Objectives of the Programme
Teso Health Programme has 4 specific objectives:
- To improve health in Teso by providing community health services to promote health and prevent diseases.
- To improve health in Teso by building a state-of-the-art hospital to provide specialised and advanced health services.
- To improve health in Teso through cutting-age health research on causes of diseases in the community and innovative solutions to improve health.
- To improve health in Teso through training, of new and existing health workers, clinical placement and mentorship.
- Strategies for the Programme
IWA will work in partnership with government health institutions at all levels and other stakeholders in health to achieve its objectives.
5.2 Cost sharing
IWA will offer its services at subsidised rates so as to enable equitable access by all categories of people in the communities.
5.3 Community-hospital link
Our health model is designed to improve primary, secondary and tertiary health. The model emphasis disease prevention. Before the SOTA Hospital, the model provides for referral of patients to existing health facilities. Once the SOTA Hospital is built, IWA will have an independent a primary to tertiary health care system.
- Implementation Agency
This Appeal Fund is being managed by Iteso Welfare Association (IWA), which will also manage the THP. IWA is a diaspora led organisation registered to operate in the UK and Africa. Our vision is a united and prosperous community of Iteso in the UK, Africa and elsewhere and our mission is to inspire and empower Iteso and other marginalized communities through economic, social, cultural, scientific, and technological advancement. IWA is nearly 25 years old and has accumulated experience and expertise in various aspects of development.
THA is a fund to finance THP. It is an ambitious initiative by the communities of Teso under their umbrella organisation IWA, to radically improve health through an innovative community health programme and building a state-of-the-art hospital to provide specialised and advanced health services for the people of Teso and surrounding regions.