Africomed and Bwindi Community Hospital

2003. The Rotarian, Dr.Scott Kellermann and his wife Carol created a tented dispensary to help Batwa Pygmies dispossessed from their ancestral lands.

Over time, donations of money and equipment and the provision of training and medical expertise from many countries enabled the dispensary to develop into a Hospital and a health centre for an isolated population of 100’000 people in Southwest Uganda, where most families live on less than USD 1/day.

The administration of Bwindi Hospital is overseen by the Anglican Church of Uganda. The hospital is run by Ugandans and became operational in 2009 with 110 beds, and a staff of 115 people including 4 doctors.

For 90 percent of its running costs and development, Bwindi hospital is dependent on donations and the provision of expertise and equipment, as funding from the state is unfortunately less than 10% of its budget (http://www.bwindihospital.com)

Some other donor organisations

Swarovski
Friends of Bwindi Community Health Centre
Rotary International
Elton John AIDS Foundation
Marie Stopes International
Scott Kellermann Foundation (USA)
WATSI (USA Crowdfunding Platform for medical treatment)

Some dates

2003 – Creation of a tented dispensary

2004 2005: Construction of brick and concrete buildings for maternity and paediatric cases and an outpatient centre. Rotary International donated a Laboratory container, complete with X-ray equipment.

2006 June: Official inauguration of the Operating Theatre

2007 Dr Forat Sadry discovered this little hospital lost in the middle of the rainforest and visited it twice a year for 3 years to assist in the development of radiology. She sponsored and trained 2 midwives in diagnostic ultrasound.

2008 – Bwindi Hospital formally recognized as a hospital. Commissioning of the Operating Theatre.

2009 September Inauguration of the laundry unit (washing machines and dryers offered by a Canadian tourist).

2010 February – Creation of a solidarity health insurance fund: e-Quality Health Bwindi (premium USD 3 / year).

2010 Nov – First mission of a team of physicians from Fribourg, Switzerland (surgery – gynaecology – radiology).

2011 January – Visit of the US ambassador and confirmation of USAID support.

2011 May – Second surgical mission by the Fribourg Team.

2011 July – Orthopaedic surgical mission organized by two American doctors from Vermont.

2011 November – Japanese Embassy donates USD 100’000.- to finance the expansion of the maternity unit.

2011 November – Bwindi Community Hospital receives the Stars Foundation “health impact award” (USD 100’000.-).

2012 – A micro-hydroelectric dam built by the “German Group of International Cooperation” (GIZ).

2012 May – Third surgical mission by Fribourg team of physicians, now known as the SWISS FAMILY.

2012 September – Beginning of the construction of a Nursing School.

2012 Oct – A gynaecological and surgical mission dedicated to obstetric fistula organized by a Swiss and Ugandan team.

Our Achievements

2011 – One of our team obtained a grant of USD 15’000.- (over 3 years) from the Rotary Club Dreiländereck, Basel, to finance the training of a young Ugandan doctor in gynaecology and obstetrics

2012 – After 3 fruitful years, we formalised our work by founding a non-profit association AFRICOMED, (l’Association fribourgeoise pour la collaboration médicale), with the objective of supporting the hospital for the forthcoming 5 to 10 years. We contributed to the hospital’s development by providing equipment and training in radiology, gynaecology, anaesthesiology, surgery and surgical consultations.

2012 – December 20th, we launched a first call for funds with a presentation of Africomed at the Gutenberg Museum in Fribourg.

2013

  • May-June – Africomed Surgical and Gynaecological mission.
  • August 7th – Memorandum of Understanding signed between Africomed and Bwindi Community Hospital.
  • May 9th – First Africomed General Assembly.
  • October 1st – Africomed presentation to the “Soroptimist International Club de
  • Fribourg”
  • November 28th – Africomed presentation to the “Cantonal Medical Society of Fribourg”
  • The Radiology building constructed in Bwindi, until then the X-ray machine had functioned in the shipping container.
  • Surgical and medical equipment collected for a container shipment of – an X-ray unit, a mobile X-ray machine, operating tables and gynaecological chairs, an ultrasound machine, computer screens and miscellaneous electronic equipment (public and private).
  • July 17th – the 42 foot (65 m3) container, containing 113 boxes, departed Fribourg and arrived intact at Bwindi Hospital on November 10th.
  • October-November – a Radiological mission coordinated with the reception of the container and the installation of the radiology machines in the new building.
  • The visit was an opportunity to meet

the Health Minister of Uganda

the Ugandan Prime Minister.

2014

  • A member of Africomed privately donated USD 10’000.- specifically for the purpose of repairing the access road to the hospital.
  • March 20th – Africomed fund raising evening organized at the Theatre des Osses, Givisiez, for a performance of “Rideau”, from which we obtained the total revenue.
  • June 26th – Africomed second General Assembly.
  • Medical equipment from Moutier Hospital collected in preparation for the next container shipment.
  • A task force medical team leaves for Bwindi in August, comprising 3 surgeons, 1 gynaecologist, 2 anaesthetists, a nurse anaesthetist, a radiologist, a radiographer, an internist specialist in infectious disease, a dentist and a coordinator.
  • Continuation of set-up of the Radiology unit.
  • Renewed meeting with the prime minister of Uganda
  • Continued on-site training and education.
  • Start of Africomed financing of training programmes-

a nurse in general ultrasound (six months)
a nurse in general nursing (three years)
a young doctor in surgery ($ 15,000 over 3 years), previously responsible for the operating theatre in 2012-2013

2015

  • May 2nd – third Africomed general Assembly
  • Many meetings of the expanded committee
  • May – Africomed medico-surgical mission
  • Two follow-up meetings with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health of Uganda.
  • Second container with medical and surgical equipment prepared.
  • Africomed finances the purchase of a laboratory machine (USD 16’000 -)
  • Two presentations made to –

La Tour-de-Trême, Gruyère, Secondary School – 900 pupils

Michelle Berset Foundation, Lausanne who made a generous donation towards the planned extension of the operating theatre

  • Inauguration of the newly built Gynaecological consulting room, constructed and equipped with a donation from the Rotary Club of Fribourg.
  • Funding provided for training of – a young surgeon a nurse in general care and a nurse in ultrasound

 2016

  • January 28th departure of the second 40 foot container (60 m3), which arrived on-site May 7th.
  • March 3rd – fund raising event.
  • May – First Orthopaedic mission, combined with a visit to unload the container.
  • Continuation of Funding for training for :
  • the young surgeon, a nurse in general care and a nurse in ultrasound
  • June 6th – Fourth Africomed General Assembly.
  • November – Ninth Africomed mission mainly radiological
  • Donation of a refrigerator for the blood bank
  • Donation of a new ultrasound machine
  • 2017
  • Une mission orthopédique (10ème ) du 19 au 30 mars avec apport de matériel dont une perceuse
  • An orthopaedic mission ( 10th) from March 19 to 30th , bringing a drill.
  • Two anaesthesiology monitors ( donated by the University Hospital in Lausanne)
  • Repair of the radiology stand and donation of a semi-automatic developing machine
  • Initiation in physiotherapy
  • First national award for Lucy Ezatiru whose nurse studies we have sponsored
  • General Assembly on 2.05.2017
  • Presentation of Africomed to the Clinique Générale in September
  • Fundraising evening on November 2nd with Jo Mettraux after a radio presentation at Radio-Fribourg (October 30th )
  • Urology camp (11th) from October 4th to14 October 14th
  • Reset of the radiology machine and the fluoroscopy
  • Hospital visit for evaluation of potential needs for a laboratory with microbiology
  • Inauguration of the renovated and enlarged operating theatre building thanks to the donations of the foundations of Michèle Berset et Anthropos
  • T-shirts avec our logo et motto and new flyer
  • Xmas market

2018

  • Orthopaedic camp (12th) from March 3rd to 17th with emphasis on treatment of osteomyelitis
  • Participation of two medical students
  • Initiation in ergotherapy
  • Virtualisation of IT
  • Presentation of the camps to AFCO at the Daler Hospital on March 22nd ( GK)
  • Presentation of the last camp at the Clinique Générale in June
  • Membership to Fribourg-Solidaire in August and confirmation of their support to our three-year orthopaedic project
  • Fundraising event with Jean-Claude Hurni on October 19th.
  • Obtention of funds for our three year orthopaedic project
  • Successful crowdfunding thanks to our two medical students for the surgical treatment of two badly teenage burnt brothers
  • Equipment offered or bought : Scialytic stand, orthopaedic and radiological equipment and IT servers
  • Payment for enlargement of radiologic building door
  • Continuation of nurse sponsoring

2019

  • Operation in Kampala of the two brothers ( payed for by the crowdfunding)
  • Presentation of Africomed to Lions Club in January (GK)
  • Orthopaedic camp from March 16th to 30th.
  • General Assembly on 20th of May
  • Urology camp from November 1st to 10th.
  • Sponsoring of a nurse for a Bachelor diploma.
  • Sponsoring of a nurse for studies in physiotherapy
  • Sponsoring of a nurse in comprehensive nursing
  • Participation in the obtention of a masters in orthopaedics of a surgeon
  • Donation of a dermatom-meshgraft pour skin grafting
  • Donation of a sterilizer
  • Donation of equipment for endoscopic prostatic surgery And always , since 2015, a participation of 500$/month to the costs of laboratory and radiology exams for the most needy ( chronic care clinic ).

2020

  • Preparation of two orthopaedic camps, in March and in Autumn.

FS/ October 2019

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