No More Jerrycans: Kiboga Community Bands Together to Expand Healthcare

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No More Jerrycans: Kiboga Community Bands Together to Expand Healthcare
Community gathering.

Frustrated by years of neglect, residents of Kiboga district in Uganda are stepping up to improve their own healthcare. Nyamiringa Health Center III, the only facility serving three sub-counties, has been struggling for years with limited space, power outages, and a critical water shortage.

Built by the community in 2000, the health centre was initially a local initiative. The government later upgraded it in 2014, but further improvements haven't materialized. Determined to bridge the gap, residents have embarked on an ambitious project – raising 40 million Ugandan shillings to expand the facility.

John Lwakashamba, the vice chairperson of the health centre, describes the immense challenges. The current space is insufficient, forcing them to exceed their daily patient capacity. Water scarcity adds another layer of difficulty, with the facility forced to purchase jerrycans daily. Patience Kyomuhangi, in charge of the facility, emphasizes the urgent need for additional delivery beds and a larger maternity ward.

Recognizing the community's plight, Christine Kaaya Nakomweero, the area's Member of Parliament, visited Nyamiringa. The sole delivery bed and lack of basic utilities painted a grim picture. Ms Nakomweero echoed the community's call for government intervention, highlighting the critical need for a functioning health centre.

Nyamiringa serves over 500 residents monthly, despite battling understaffing, insufficient medication, and poor road access. The community's initiative to expand the facility is a testament to their resilience and their unwavering commitment to securing better healthcare for themselves and their families. Their story serves as a powerful example of how citizen action can bridge gaps and spur positive change.

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