2022 Mid-Year Highlights

Edward was abandoned by his mother due to the cost of the surgery he needed. After waiting for years to find care, his aunt brought him to Bulamu’s surgery program where he was treated for a painful abdominal abscess free of charge. Read his story here.

Since 2016, Bulamu has now directly treated more than 325,000 patients at no cost to the patients or their families. In 2021, we treated patients at an average cost of $6 per person for general medicine and maternity care and $163 for most surgery patients. Many of our patients arrive either mid-emergency or after waiting years to receive care, but the approach we are taking shows that healthcare for the poor can improve dramatically by combining limited resources with effective partnerships.

2nd Quarter Highlights
Bulamu extended the reach of our health system strengthening programs in the second quarter of 2022:

  • General Medicine: Beginning in May, Bulamu’s Clinical Support Team (CST) of 18 core team members spent 8 weeks at 4 of the largest health facilities in Luwero District. The CST clinicians treated 17,930 patients while working side-by-side training their local staffs. Luwero Hospital, which treats 6,000outpatients and delivers 300 babies monthly, hosted one team and provided very positive feedback on their services.
  • Surgery Programs: We conducted two weeklong Surgery Intensives (SI), treating 271 patients in Gulu District in April and 389 patients in Mayuge District in June. In 2021, 76% of Bulamu’s Surgery Intensive patients reported they had waited 3 or more years to receive care. With many patients waiting 10 to 20 or more years, each Bulamu surgery program is one of the most needed services we can offer to our partner districts.
  • Health Center Excellence Program: The HCE Program was launched in Isingiro District in June, a large district with 54 public health units treating 585,000 patients annually. Of those facilities, 4 are community hospitals, 18 are inpatient maternity hospitals, and 32 are walk-in clinics. With the addition of Isingiro District, the HCE management system is now installed in 262 Ministry of Health (MOH) of Uganda facilities that treat 2,760,000 patients annually, or 8% of Uganda’s 3,200 public health facilities.

For an introduction to our programs and to meet a few of the patients we have served, please watch the short videos here or see more patient profiles here.

Rotary Partnerships Achieve Scalable Impact
Rotary International has become one of our leading partners for growing the number of people Bulamu’s work serves annually. Thanks to a partnership between Rotary Clubs in both Uganda and the U.S., in the last 3 months more than 100 Ministry of Health facilities have now received vital signs devices and training in their uses. The grant’s partner clubs are on track to surpass the grant’s goal of providing vital signs devices to 125 health facilities that treat more than 900,000 patients per year, giving this $91,000Rotary global grant a cost of about $0.10 per patient served during its first 12 months alone! Our team and partner health facilities would like to thank the leaders and members of Rotary Club of Kampala-Naguru, Rotary Club Rancho Santa Fe, and Uganda Past District Governor John Magezi Ndamira among many other Rotarians for their remarkable leadership. A new global grant, Model Districts for Maternal and Child Health in Uganda, is now in its fundraising stage, with the goal of providing crucially needed MCH systems and clinical training to 60+ health centers in Uganda that deliver more than 100,000 infants per year.

HCE Program Improvements
With the addition of Isingiro District, we provided the district with 19 computers at its larger health units, which function as data reporting centers uploading weekly key performance indicators for a catchment area that includes 2 or 3 nearby health units. However, we are now upgrading HCE’s management reports system to a more scalable platform, built around a MySQL relational database, that will permit every health unit to upload their own weekly data using a standard website. Beginning in Q4 of 2022, all new HCE districts will not need PCs at individual health units, reducing the cost of installing the HCE management reporting system by about 30%.

Joan and Moses and their twin sons are one of the hundreds of families who have benefited from Bulamu’s Emergency Transport service this year. In an emergency, many patients have challenges in paying for transportation to hospitals quickly enough, making our ET system a crucial part of a well-functioning local health system.

In addition to an IT platform, HCE systems also include: 1) Emergency Transportation for patients to reach public health facilities, which has supported 573 patients’ transport through June 2022 at a cost of about $27 per patient, and 2) Essential Surgical Supplies, which has supported 2,278 patients’ surgical care through June at a cost of $10 per patient. This system ensures partner health facilities are kept in stock with low-cost supplies such as sutures and spinal needles, without which poor patients could be turned away instead of receiving emergency surgeries.

We Need Your Help
We now have partnerships in place with 12 local government districts that operate 11% of Uganda’s 3,200 public health facilities, treat 3.5 million patient visits annually, and contain 17% of Uganda’s population. The HCE-IT management reporting system will be extended to the last three of these districts in early 2023.

Here are a few ways you could get involved which would make a great difference in the lives of the patients we serve:

  1. Sponsor 50 Emergency Transport patients’ trips to a health facility with a gift of $1500 
  2. Support 30 Surgery Intensive patients’ care with a gift of $5000
  3. Sponsor our Maternal and Child Health Initiative with a custom gift by replying to this e-mail
  4. Share Bulamu’s work with anyone who might want to get involved by forwarding this e-mail, replying to introduce friends, or getting in touch with any questions or ideas.

As always, we appreciate our stakeholders’ support for Bulamu’s mission of treating the sick and improving healthcare for the poor.

Bulamus’s 2021 Annual Report