April 19, 2016
It was clear from our first steps on the site of Masindi-Kitara Medical Center (MKMC) or also called by the locals, Kitara Clinic, that this was a different type of healthcare center. The buildings were very clean, the staff begins the day with a worship service, and each staff member is equally valued. We were introduced to the clinical officers, nurses, lab technicians, and cleaning staff. As we participated in Ward Rounds for the first time, we noticed that it is clear the nurses care about the patients and are attentive to them and the doctors value the nurses opinions. Each bed had a mosquito net and there are some private rooms available if patients desire and can afford them. This is a unique model healthcare center that was started by Palmetto Medical Initiative (PMI) from South Carolina back in about 2009 or 2010. PMI had been running quarterly outreach mission trips to the Masindi District Area for a number of years before that but to achieve quality, sustainable healthcare for follow-up visits for people in the region, they decided to start the MKMC. It is a fee-f0r-service clinic with both an inpatient hospital, operating theater (this is what they call the operating room), and an outpatient clinic. The goal was to be financially stable by having all operating expenses covered by reasonable patient fees. They have now met this goal of self-sustainability at MKCM and so PMI also started similar clinics in other parts of the world, like Nicaragua. They have been so successful that they have now 2 clinics in Nicaragua and 2 in Uganda and more planned. Recently they’ve changed their name to OneWorld Health (OWH) and made the CNN news for their excellent work. Although the clinics themselves are self-sustainable for operating expenses, OWH still helps with large expansion projects. They currently have a USAID grant that is funding a a medical education building, radiology center and dental clinic at the MKMC. (I’ll post some pictures of those in another post.) They have also partnered with the band, NeedtoBreath who wrote the song, Brother. There is a nice music video of this song on the CNN news site linked above. You can hear the song and watch photos of patients in Uganda who are being helped by MKMC and the outreach programs.
Below are a few pictures of the New Court View Hotel, our Masindi home for the next 2 weeks. It is so different from Kampala- we eat all 3 meals here but they have a large and delicious menu. And life is a bit calmer- we all enjoy spending time sitting out in the cabana working on presentations or talking or catching up on email. The gardens are also beautiful!!