The link was formed in 2009. The idea was to make a long-term partnership involving managers, clinicians, support staff and students. The link is based on training visits and an ongoing commitment to address the needs they have identified in Hoima.
Basingstoke Hoima Partnership for Health is a charity formed to raise funds and manage projects in Hoima.
It’s a town in western Uganda about three hours from the capital, Kampala. Most people there make a living by subsistence farming and the region is very poor. Hoima Town is smaller than Basingstoke but Hoima Referral Hospital serves a population of about 1.5 million – about the same as the whole of Hampshire.
They have very few doctors and there are no GPs at all. We have over a hundred midwives but they have only eight for about the same number of hospital deliveries. We spend nearly 20 times more per head on health than they can afford and their population is rising faster than anywhere else in the world.
They manage a huge workload with very limited access to investigations and basic equipment. There is often no running water or electricity. So you can begin to see what they are up against.
We plan to make four two-week visits a year in teams of up to ten volunteers. The aims are clinical teaching, skill sharing and improving systems of working to improve clinical outcomes for patients. It means going back to basics and working on patient safety issues such as hand hygiene, hospital acquired infections, patient monitoring, identifying at-risk patients and improving their clinical management.
We have concentrated our efforts on maternity, paediatrics and anaesthetics as well as dermatology, trauma and orthopaedics and management issues.
We have established close links with the School of Nursing in Hoima and teaching there is now an integral part of every visit.
We also take out donated medical equipment and supplies. This benefits patients and means that staff have what they need to do the job they were trained for. This has positive effects on morale.
Achieving changes in clinical practice requires great persistence. We are careful to audit the effects of what we do and we are now seeing definite improvements in the standards of clinical care. We see this as being their achievement with BHPH in an enabling role.
Please get in touch with Rob Bates at firstname.lastname@example.org, or, to register your name on our database, go to ‘Be a volunteer’ on our website and complete a simple form.
Find out more at www.hhhcharity.uk