Bulamu Angels and CURE Uganda:
A Providential Partnership
An important feature of every Bulamu Supercamp is the Angel Program, which helps more seriously ill patients get the care they need when escalation to an offsite acute care hospital is appropriate. Often the patients and/or their families have become frustrated with the public health system’s inability to address the problem, and they come to us as their last hope. Once accepted into our program, Bulamu becomes their advocate and arranges for laboratory testing, transportation, hospital admission, treatment, and upkeep for accompanying family members. We share with the facility the cost of the surgery or other treatment that the patients cannot afford. At recent camps, Bulamu has assisted 100-200 Angel Patients—improving and, in some cases, saving their lives. Our cost for helping these patients is included in each Supercamp’s total of around $5 per patient treated.
Bulamu has developed relationships that allow for direct admission to Uganda’s leading referral hospitals, such as Mulago National Referral Hospital (Kampala), CoRSU Rehabilitation Hospital (Entebbe), and CURE Children’s Hospital (Mbale). Particularly instructive is our partnership with CURE, which began in April 2018 and was embodied in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in August 2018 by Bulamu CEO Richard Chandler and CURE Uganda CEO Tim Erickson. CURE now sends a representative to each Bulamu Supercamp as an outreach effort, so patients can be screened on site and transported directly to Mbale for immediate surgery.
Three Bulamu Angels
In August 2019, hearing about the upcoming Bulamu Supercamp in Kyegegwa, three young mothers were filled with hope as they brought their infant sons, each suffering from hydrocephalus, with cranial fluid that has swollen their heads to abnormal size. They were desperate for our help. Once screened by CURE medical officer Stewart Wamukangu, we arranged for the mothers-and-sons to be transported 420 kilometers cross country to Mbale. After pre-operative exams, the boys’ brains were surgically repaired, with their mothers nervously waiting nearby. Within a week, the infant boys were sufficiently well to be discharged and heading back home. For these three families, Bulamu and CURE had partnered to perform a miracle!
CURE Children’s Hospital in Mbale is recognized as Africa’s leading hospital for treating the neurosurgical needs of children—conditions such as hydrocephalus, neural tube defects, spina bifida, and brain tumors. If left untreated, children suffering from physical disabilities like hydrocephalus have little hope for a productive future. In addition to pain and suffering, infant hydrocephalus leads to significant brain damage, severe developmental delay, blindness, and ultimately death. CURE Uganda’s founding medical director, Dr, Benjamin Warf, developed a minimally invasive, shuntless procedure for treating hydrocephalus that has become the standard treatment in developed countries. CURE Uganda places an equal emphasis on spiritual healing, helping patients experience through prayer the life-changing message of God’s love for them.
Cure Children’s Hospital of Uganda
Annual outpatient visits: 7,530 (FY19)
Annual procedures: 1,530 (FY19)
Parent Organization: CURE International operates 9 children’s hospitals and partners with hospitals in 27 developing countries.