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Life at Olongba Health Centre

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Olongba village in Boga district was completely inaccessible between 2000 and 2010 because of militia activity.

There was another setback in 2012, but the area has now opened up and the population is booming, particularly fuelled by a gold digging rush, bringing in people from many different ethnic groups from far and wide.

The health needs at Olongba are vast. The team at Olongba Health Centre persevered through the terrible war years, and are continuing to strive to meet the needs of the 18,000 strong local community – albeit with extremely limited resources.

Semiliki Trust supports Dr Kabhunga, doctor in charge of Olongba. Dr Kabhunga has recently sent us some photos which give a flavour of the current situation. In the photo above, nurses are caring for children at Olongba in a very challenging situation. Many unwell children have to sleep on the floor in the absence of enough mattresses.

The photo below is of Olongba’s 7 bed paediatric ward, which currently looks after an average of 25 children per day.

Olongba’s 7 bed paediatric ward

The picture below shows Dr Kabhunga and Senior Midwife Mme Anyasi in the post partum ward of the maternity block. Three mothers with their newborn babies are sharing two beds, and two women in labour are sharing a bed. The maternity unit has 6 beds, but an average of 8 mothers are currently giving birth at the Centre per day.

Dr Kabhunga and Senior Midwife Mme Anyasi in the post partum ward of the maternity block

Saving the lives of women with obstructed labour remains a particularly pressing need at Olongba. In recent years the local community constructed a building for an operating theatre entirely with their own resources.

The Centre has also begun building a fence around the hospital with planks donated by the local population. Serving the medical needs of men and women, these buildings are in the thick of construction by the local community, as shown below.

building a fence around the hospital

The Trust sent funds for surgical equipment in 2012, and has just sent a further $2,000 to buy further equipment to carry out caesarian sections and other emergency obstetric procedures. Olongba Health Centre will continue to be a priority project for Semiliki Trust’s support.

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