Interface Uganda has been funding James Odinga (newly qualified physiotherapist) to help Gloria at Kagando Hospital since the end of June this year. Gloria has just sent a report about how helpful James is being. She is now able to see most of the patients she needs to see on a daily basis, dividing the work up between seeing patients on the wards and treating outpatients, as well as the outreach wheelchair project for children with disabilities. They have also had student placements, which is a new venture for Kagando physio department. Phew! It sounds exhausting for just two people to cope with, but at least Gloria is no longer having to do it all alone.
This is her email:
Greetings from Kagando Hospital.
I hope you have seen the report from James and the progress we have been making here. I have seen a very big change in the work we are doing. We have in the past two months been working separately most of the time, except when we need to consult with each other – and so all the wards are covered at the same time as the outpatient physio clinic is being covered alternately by either of us. It has also been a relief because when we have the outreach project, the department is still covered. Also we now can alternately take on Saturdays to see the patients on the wards. Initially it was a day to sleep in through the morning after an extremely exhausting week.
Needless to say, we are now able to see more patients than I was able to see alone. We can see the fruits of our work through the response from clients who also refer their friends to us.
Through the year, the numbers of people coming from Congo, Toro, Ankole and Bunyoro have increased and we have been advising some of our clients from very far to rent the ‘mother care house’ cheaply just outside the hospital gate and attend physio for a week or so.
We are so grateful for the package you sent to the department with some equipment. We shall endeavor to utilise them in our work as much as we can.
In March this year, a third year physiotherapy student from Mbarara University was sent to Kagando Hospital for a six weeks’ clinical placement as part of their training and this went really well. We now have a fourth year student who has spent a month already and its been a great learning experience for me each time. It’s also good to see how much Kagando is being helpful in the physiotherapy training and mentoring of other upcoming physios.
The department is keenly preparing for the artificial limb project which is still in the pipeline and hoping that this will increase on the services that we are able to deliver as rehabilitation department.
Last week Mbarara University physio department was teaching about wheelchairs and orthotics to the third year class. Following your picture and comment on facebook, Zillah Whitehouse (a lecturer there) asked me to share with the class about my experience so far in the wheelchair service. It was an honor and very humbling indeed because through the past one year I have realised how much this service is very relevant to our community and how few the wheelchair clinicians are (technicians as well). Most of what I know is because of Kagando, and I appreciate that.
I still believe there is much more that we can do if James’ time is extended as he requested. But I also understand that it will all depend on the available resources to sustain the program.
The entire Kagando team sends you warm regards. In the picture is James, Joyce, Richard and Gloria with the children whom we assessed during our outreach, and because of the big number referred these ones to the hospital.
Here is the full report from James: physio intern report october
This is at the end of the report, and really shows how much he has achieved, and how much more he wants to do:
I have continued to become a trusted and integral member of the rehabilitation team in that I can be trusted to run therapy sessions with minimal supervision.
With my supervisor, we successfully started conducting aerobic classes in group therapy for our patients, this has showed great results in the prognosis of patient’s conditions. Though we are still limited with space, but it has been worth starting with less numbers.
Wheelchair service has been a great achievement in that I can now assess and prescribe for a client the required wheelchair.
I have managed now to learn the language and culture of the people around here. My work experience keeps growing each and every day that passes because of the large numbers of conditions I face on my work day. My confidence and knowledge has greatly improved.
After 2 months of confirmation classes, I was officially confirmed as a mature Christian on 19th October during the annual Bishop’s visit to Kagando Hospital. I would have never dreamt that that moment would ever come. I am glad I am continuing to grow in FAITH and I thank God that I came to Kagando.
Kagando, Kasese and surrounding districts are made of mainly peasant and poor communities that depend on farming for their income. Most patients have missed physiotherapy appointments especially OPD patients citing inadequate funds. Kagando Hospital charges 10,000UgX for a therapy session of which most patients still find it too expensive. We in most cases have lost patient follow up.
As observed from the above listed conditions, you will realized Kagando Hospital is overwhelmed by the increasing numbers of NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES like Diabetes, hypertension, strokes. We have had inadequate funding for health promotion and community outreaches especially to sensitize communities about Physiotherapy conditions. The funding for a single physiotherapy outreach is not enough to mobilize the communities and teach about these conditions.
Time is rushing so fast, just only 2months to go. This is the time when one has just settled in and starting to enjoy work. It’s a feeling I get and wish that the internship could be extended for 6 more months such that I can make a year in Kagando.
The community around is of more illiterate people who still do not understand much about physiotherapy. When a patient comes to hospital is most expectant to be given medication of which physiotherapy treatments are physical and we do not prescribe medications. It takes much to labor hard to explain to a patient for example with stroke that they need only Exercises and therapy modalities to get their condition better. It’s a challenge but it has been our obligation to sensitize our patients.
I continue to thank the Almighty God for the Opportunity that I was granted to come to Kagando community, for my stay in this hospital safe and sound and to the service I have offered to the people around. I continue to pray for my final months to become a blessing.
Sincere appreciation goes to Interface Uganda for the continued and timely funding and making my stay at comfortable. Great gratitude goes to the KARUDEC administration especially the hospital management. I thank the hospital staff from the doctors down to the lowest ranked personnel. The friendship and team work has been strong. I have learnt something from everyone. I continue to extend sincere gratitude thanks to my supervisor, PT. GLORIA and all the Medical rehabilitation colleagues.