Dear friends,

as you can imagine, the past few months have been very demanding for us. Kalongo hospital has been suddenly involved in the Covid-19 emergency. We immediately had to face the operational difficulties caused by the emergency. The blockade of transports and shipping delayed the delivery of medical materials and devices, necessary to face not only a possible Covid-19 epidemic, but above all the many daily emergencies, such as pneumonia, airborne infectious diseases and certainly malaria, which is affecting once again the little ones.

In Uganda, the positive cases of Covid-19 are constantly growing, even if they are much less compared to other countries. By the 2nd of September 3,037 confirmed infections and 32 deceased were registered. But the side effects of the emergency are what really scare us.

In recent months in Kalongo the number of hospitalizations dropped dramatically. Due to the restrictive measures imposed by the government which made it difficult to reach the hospital, and to the fear of the population to contract the virus, the cases arriving at the hospital are serious and often fatal.

Children, mothers, entire communities have remained isolated, without medical treatment or healthcare, without the possibility of recovery. That is what the numbers show: in January 2020 the number of the babies born safely in Kalongo was 316 against the 147 in April. Also in January pediatrics welcomed 565 children, while in April only 228 of them. Now the numbers are slowly growing, but what about all those babies born without assisted delivery and those affected by malaria who could not reach the hospital? 

There is no answer for these questions, which afflict us but that push us to find new ways to continue staying close to the local community, involving and supporting it. Because the side effects of coronavirus don’t fall back “only” on the health: the education of the children is going to fail, the small subsistence activities are disappearing, and the economy of the country is withdrawing. And the consequence of all this is the worsening of poverty and inequalities and the deterioration of the health of individuals and families, in a dramatic vicious circle.

Precisely for this reason, to guarantee basic healthcare
to the most needy, the hospital has intensified its actions on the area.
The healthcare professionals have worked hard to bring vaccines to the new born in the villages, to examine pregnant women and children, to monitor malnutrition and respiratory difficulties, to take HIV tests, to organize sanitation educational activities. And at this time they can’t count on doctors and trainees from Italy or on trainees of the obstetrics school which will remain closed until December.

Guaranteeing the right to health cannot be postponed to better times, but supporting the hospital with resolution requires a very significant use of resources. Thank you sincerely, because with your support we were able to bring to the hospital oxygen concentrators, pulse oximeters, infrared thermometers, surgical masks, visors and antibacterial fabric, which will allow better care for the most fragile patients. There is still so much to do! Your help is important.

Be proud of it, as we are to have you by our side.

Giovanna Ambrosoli