Uganda is heavily underfunded where it matters -healthcare. Hospitals are costly and for those who can’t afford it, they are shown the door. Patients are left to search for cheap herbal remedies or wait until their pain subsides, if it even does.

Most of the health issues that arise in Uganda can be linked to the lack of water available for families. Without a proper source of clean water, Ugandans are at risk of contracting various illnesses or parasites that can potentially lead to death. More than 50% of Ugandans have no clean water source, which means they are at a higher risk for waterborne diseases.

Various small health care programs in Uganda have been implemented to help with these issues including, The Water Project, which construct wells in rural villages. Aside from bringing a reliable source of clean water, they give lectures on sanitation. UNICEF Uganda has also implemented a similar program that serves to inform the family of issues from unclean water sources and offer health services for free.

This program called Family Health Days is one of many that are currently being put in effect with the partnership of faith-based organizations. Family Health Days is offered at various places of worship, advertised on the radio and spread through word of mouth. Several families bring in their children to get immunizations or de-worming checks. Mothers are able to get assistance with antenatal care and blood pressure readings. Counseling is also given to foster a healthy lifestyle for the entire family.

Programs such as Family Health Days and The Water Project truly make a difference in the lives of hundreds in the rural villages of Uganda. They work with the community and bring awareness to health issues of the poor. The Water Project, Family Health Days and numerous small programs offer hope for a country who’s own government has repeatedly been under scrutiny for misusing international relief aid.

– Maybelline Martez

Sources: FSD International, UNICEF, The Water Project
Photo: Borgen