Bulamu’s Clinical Support Teams
Bulamu’s Clinical Support Team (CST) program helps to launch our district partnerships and to clear bottlenecks that prevent Health Center IVs from offering the standards of care they are designed for. In 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bulamu redesigned our pre-COVID medical camps program to continue to deliver care safely for patients and staff. The CST program launched in June 2020 and combines primary care, COVID-19 response, and systems improvement. The CST Program started in Wakiso District, Uganda’s largest with a population of 2.9 million people, and then moved to Budaka and Bunyangabu in 2020, before continuing in 5 new partner districts in 2021.
Through the CST, Bulamu sends teams of 7-8 Ugandan doctors, nurses, and midwives to provide general medical care at partner Ministry of Health (MOH) centers for 8 weeks at a time. Each CST, which consists of COVID-19 certified trainers, treats patients alongside the existing health center staff, while upgrading the systems, equipment, and standard of care. By bringing PPE, medicines, supplies, patient treatment forms, and equipment to take vital signs, these teams help to improve the health system where they are and leave model facilities behind.
Bulamu’s Clinical Support Teams provide these essential medical services:
- General medicine
- COVID-19 training & PPE
- Patient treatment forms
- Vital signs equipment & training
- Needed medicines & supplies
- Surgeries & Angel referrals
- C-sections & natural deliveries
- Maternal and Child Health
- Emergency transportation
In 2021, 10 Clinical Support Teams treated 56,028 patients in 5 new partner districts. Working with their partner facility staff, these CSTs also provided 2,800 natural deliveries, 300 C-sections and emergency transport for more than 200 patients at a cost of under $30 each in districts that lack an ambulance. As important as the short-term patient care they provide is, the CSTs also begin our partnership with each district, showing that Bulamu can help their facilities provide excellent care, registering surgery patients for support from our Surgery Programs, and paving the way for all MOH facilities in each partner district to join the Health Center Excellence program over the following months.