MAMA are absolutely delighted to receive the support of the Kitchen Table Charities Trust for a key aspect of our new Maternity Clinic building project in Kyarushesha, Uganda. Their generous grant will pay for pit latrines and wash bays, including one block specifically designed, with their help, to be disabled friendly; incinerator; kitchen; and medical waste/placenta disposal pits. Our own premises will allow us to expand and improve our services, with a larger labour ward; greater privacy for inpatients; an increase in our inpatient beds; and a larger outpatients department. Our current rental costs are a significant proportion of the monthly running cost, so this project aims to secure the clinic’s future sustainability. We truly do run the charity from our kitchen tables, so the relationship with this Trust seems especially fitting, and we would like to say a huge thanks to them and all their supporters.
In part due to the impacts of climate change, the waters of Lake Albert are rising, and were threatening to flood the premises we lease for our Runga clinic. Therefore, we made the difficult decision to relocate, and have invested in upgrading a different property further from the lakeshore. The money spent on the necessary improvements will cover the rent for the next five years. Thanks to an incredible amount of hard work from Sofia, Barongo and the rest of the team the move was completed on 17 February 2021, with minimal interruption to our clinic services.
In January 2021 we commenced an ambitious building project to establish permanent, purpose-built premises for our UKAid Direct-funded clinic in Kyarushesha. We are working with a local construction company, which previously built our volunteer house in Hoima town, and they are making great progress. Fundraising for the project is well underway, with more than 50% of the total cost raised to date. A huge thanks is due to The Northwood Charitable Trust for supporting us in this endeavour, as well as to the multiple individuals who have donated or fundraised for us.
We have published our second newsletter, with details of our new clinic in Kyarushesha as well as details of recent fundraising ventures and an update from the Runga Clinic. It contains a feature on Sofia, the UK Project Manager for Kyarushesha and former Trustee. She is a reluctant ‘cover girl’ but after all the amazing things she has done for MAMA we could hardly overlook her.
In March 2020, thanks to a generous two-year grant from the UKAid Direct Small Charities Challenge Fund, MAMA was able to open the doors of the new MAMA Grace Clinic in Kyarushesha, helping to address UN Global Goal 3. This followed on from three years of outreach clinics in the village and a year of work behind the scenes applying to UKAid and setting up the grant, which started in February 2020. Sofia is resident in Hoima for two years as our project manager overseeing the setup, together with our Ugandan partners from Azur. It has proven to be a great success despite both the Covid-19 pandemic and a much larger workload than anticipated. You can read the UKAid press release here.
The MAMA Trustees, in conjunction with our Ugandan colleagues, have published a peer-reviewed manuscript in June 2020, which describes our experiences setting up our clinic in Runga: ‘Reducing the distance to walk: establishing a remote maternity facility in Runga, Hoima District, Uganda’.
After the sudden & tragic death of our dear friend & colleague Emvikia Grace in December 2018, we have had an extremely busy 2019. This newsletter is long overdue, as we have been pre-occupied with plans for a new clinic in Kyarushesha.