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Recognizing Uganda’s Dedicated Health Workers

Date Oct 11, 2023
Category Newsletters

“When I walked in with my newborn gasping for air, I thought I had lost the first fruit of my
womb. Bulamu has changed our story in the two days we have stayed at this health center.”

-Mary, Priscilla’s mother

Bulamu Healthcare provides training, equipment and supplies, and management tools that empower local health workers to deliver the best possible care to people in their communities. 100 percent of the care Bulamu supports is provided directly by licensed, professional Ugandan health workers, from surgical teams to doctors, nurses, and midwives. Meet Dr. Allan Lubiite (pictured above), the Physician in Charge at a rural Health Center IV (40-bed community hospital) in Uganda where Bulamu recently established a Neonatal Care Unit. Dr. Allan, a graduate of medical school in Uganda, recalls his frustration at not being able to care for pregnant women and at-risk newborns due to a lack of equipment and supplies. “[Before Bulamu provided us with training and a Neonatal Care Unit,] we would have to refer at-risk mothers and babies to hospitals outside of our district,” he said. “This was because we did not have what we needed to care for them here at Nsinze Health Center IV. The survival rate for these babies was close to zero. For the last few months, because Bulamu has put resources in place, helped set up a Neonatal Care Unit, and trained midwives here, we are able to care for more babies at our Health Center IV without the delay and risks that a referral would impose.”

In July, Mary brought her newborn daughter, Priscilla, to the health center where Dr. Allan serves. Like many babies in Uganda, Priscilla was delivered at home with the assistance of a traditional birth attendant. At first, everything seemed normal, but Mary soon realized that Priscilla was not thriving. The baby struggled to breathe and was not able to nurse effectively. By the time she reached Dr. Allan’s care, Priscilla was underweight and her blood oxygen levels were critically low. “When I walked in with my baby gasping for air, I thought I had lost the first fruit of my womb. Bulamu has changed our story in the two days we have stayed at this health center,” Mary said.

Dr. Allan and his team admitted Priscilla to the Neonatal Care Unit and your support helped make it possible. Here, Priscilla received oxygen, antibiotics, and feeding support using her mother’s own expressed breastmilk. Midwives recently trained by Bulamu in WHO Essential Newborn Care standards treated Priscilla with round-the-clock monitoring and care. Within a few days, Priscilla’s infection subsided, her breathing normalized, and she was able to eat effectively and gain weight normally.

Bulamu Healthcare has emerged as a valued partner to Ugandan health workers because of our unique approach to working entirely through existing public health facilities and their dedicated, licensed teams. On behalf of our partner Ugandan health workers and the more than 150,000 babies they deliver each year, thank you for considering supporting our work. We are honored to support local health workers and facilities to improve the quality of public healthcare available in their communities.