Improving the Ambulance and Mobile Outreach Clinical Service to Distant Villages in Uganda

Progress in the Ambulance and Outreach Mobile Clinics Service of Herona Hospital from the purchase of the second hand Toyota Hiace Ambulance in March 2019 to the recent purchase and donation by IMET2000 of a fully equipped and brand new Toyota Land Cruiser Ambulance has been phenomenal and we seek to build on this success still further because the latest ambulance is far more capable of reaching distant villages in the wet season along heavily rutted mud tracks. The Toyota Hiace has been completely overhauled and renovated and is still providing an excellent service along good roads.

Thanks to a major grant from the Randal Charitable Foundation to IMET2000 as well as our own fundraising programme, as Herona Hospital now has two ambulances,  this completely alters our ability to run far more outreach clinics to probably five per month. The second hand Toyota Hiace Ambulance we donated in May 2019 has proven of enormous benefit but although perfect for traffic accidents and bringing in patients along reasonable roads, it can get stuck in the rainy season trying to reach rural villages along deeply rutted dirt tracks. The number of outreach clinics has also been limited since if away from base all day there was then no other transport available for urgent cases.

This vehicle has just last month been completely overhauled and renovated and is in good condition as shown in the photo below. This ambulance will now be used primarily for emergency transport of serious cases needing to be brought into the hospital.

The recently purchased and donated well-equipped Toyota Land Cruiser Ambulance (see photo below) at a cost of £48,000 is currently being fitted at no extra charge with a heavy-duty roof rack which will allow bulky tents and equipment to be carried outside the vehicle and allow more space inside for patient care needed in the mobile outreach clinics. This vehicle is designed to be able to cross flooded streams and deeply rutted dirt tracks so that it can serve many more villages with difficult access and no other health care.#

We now plan to run 5 different outreach clinics to poorly served villages for four main health needs including:

·         Eye and visual impairment clinics (one per month)

·         HIV/Sickle cell/diabetes/hypertension clinics (one per month)

·         Basic dental service (one per month)

·         Family planning, maternal health and sexually transmitted diseases (twice a month).

In all these outreach clinics, information on the prevention and management of COVID-19 infection will be handed out in simply illustrated pamphlets to village elders.

Additional equipment is needed for each discipline for these mobile clinics and the most urgent needed equipment we need to donate as a one-off cost to budget for.   Running costs including medicines, disposables, ambulance and staff wages also need budgeting but will be dependent on the number of clinics run each month and how many patients need more expensive treatment.

Any contribution to this project would be much appreciated not just by IMET2000 but more importantly the Ugandan staff and their patients. Most of these villages are desperately poor financially so most treatments have to be provided free or at a very low cost. This is not entirely one-sided altruism as we also benefit.  The word spreads rapidly in Africa and our Herona Hospital gains from excellent publicity which is noted at the Ministerial level and throughout the Health Sector as well as Nursing and Medical Schools. For IMET2000 the benefit gained from the carefully audited data and results is incalculable in working up courses and workshops in EXTREME HEALTHCARE. Thank you.

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