By Alex Gahima
Medical practitioners and other Professionals, under the Mgahinga- Kisoro Rotary club yesterday offered their time and resources to assist residents of Mutanda village, Nyundo parish, Nyundo Sub County access basic medical care.
Mutanda Village, also known as Mutanda Island, has a total of 49 households comprising of 277 residents, most of whom are children.
The Medical Camp initiative was part of the celebrations of 59 years of Uganda’s Independence.
Mgahinga- Kisoro President of Rotary clubMrs. Jackie Bagainizi says the visit to Mutanda Island was very important and timely because it had been observed that, residents of island have no access to a health facility and struggle to access medical services, because they have to cross the lake to find a hospital.
Mrs. Bagainizi explained that residents on the island, especially mothers and little children are often reluctant to cross the lake and therefore decide to remain back and continue to suffer from preventable diseases.
“As the Rotary family of Kisoro, we decided that the following activities including antenatal, nutrition assessment, health education, HIV, Hepatitis and Cervical cancer screening would greatly benefit the communities on Mutanda Island”, Jackie explained.
She further explained that the medical camp is simply a continuation of Rotary Activities on the island after Rotary club of Kabale that constructed a three class room block after it was discovered that the entire island had no school and children would have to brave the fresh waters of Mutanda just to get to the nearest school.
What is Rotary Club?
Rotary is an Organization of Business and Professional person united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build good will and peace in the world.
Medical Camp Excites:
One of the Village Health Teams (VHT) Moses Ndagije explained that the medical camp is so important because the biggest population on the island is children.
Ndagije says each home has an average of 7 to 8 children because many girls drop out of school before the age of 15 and get married.
“We have 200 children on this island with 77 adults. The children on the Island are not Malnourished as is the case in many other places, however the biggest challenge we face is Malaria among pregnant mothers and children. We are grateful that the medical camp is here because many homes are going to get assistance”, Ndagije explained
The medical team that comprised of Kisoro Hospital staff committedly reviewed and diagnosed the population which patiently waited and even endured the rains, just to get an opportunity to meet a health worker.
More than 80 Insecticide treated mosquito nets were handed out while data from antenatal and Laboratory services was not readily available due to the overwhelming numbers.
Several men who spoke on condition of anonymity said the medical camp was timely because they all struggled to take their wives and children to Kisoro Hospital or Zindiro HCIII.
They also said that men issues are often overlooked however the camp today gave them an opportunity to ask questions and get tested too.
Girl Child Urged to embrace Education
Former President of Mgahinga- Kisoro Rotary Club Ezra Ndagije says there is hope for the girl child on Mutanda Island thanks to the three classroom block.
Ndagije says it was impossible for children to start classes before the age of seven because it would require that a child had to cross Lake Mutanda, therefore the ages of three, four and five could not attend class.
He further noted that as Rotary club, they are prepared to sponsor two girls to go and study at a teacher training college if they can committedly study through primary up to senior four, without dropping out.
“We believe that with the class room block, more girls will be able to go to school and achieve their dreams which include uplifting their own village, Ndagije explained.
Former Parliamentarian Sam Byibesho said he will engage the Political leadership to lobby for more support for the Islands of Mutanda that do not have a health facility and yet it is fast growing in the tourism and hospitality sector.