BUSHENYI – Having discovered that rural communities in Bushenyi district have over the years experienced higher prevalence of chronic conditions than their urban counterparts, Ba Mugisha Community Welfare Limited, a charity organization has resorted to health and disease promotion by initiating programs that address the challenge of disease prevalence.
Examples of chronic conditions tormenting people in rural areas of Bushenyi include heart and respiratory diseases, cancer, blood pressure, diabetes, hypertension, among others.
According to Ms Annette Katusiime Mugisha, the Ba Mugisha Community Welfare director, the decision to invest in health promotion and prevention in Bushenyi was reached after finding that people were facing various health challenges in their homes, finding it hard to access affordable health services due to looming poverty levels.
“In the recent past, during my timely visits to a good number of rural areas of the district, I found that most people in the villages especially the elderly were suffering from different ailments, but could not get treatment because of poverty and were dying silently. The situation has prevailed… ” says Ms Mugisha
The situation has invited the Ba Mugisha, which has in partnership with Bushenyi District Local government, and Marie Stopes Uganda scaled medical camps across the district to help the population access free medical services and also teach communities on how to protect their health and adopt disease preventative measures.
World Health Organization (WHO) defines Health Promotion as the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve their health. Health promotion moves beyond a focus on individual behavior towards a wide range social and environmental interventions.
Well designed to empower individuals and communities to make healthier choices, reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases, eliminate health disparities, and improve the quality of life, the program, which has already combed sub-counties of Nyabubare, Kyamuhunga, Kakanju, and Kyeizooba, will run throughout the whole district in the two months of July and August covering more than 20 health centers.
In hard to reach sub-counties of Bushenyi district, residents spend 5000-20,000 Ugandan shillings to reach health centers at sub-county level. Some people like pregnant mothers fail to make it to these centers.
Ba Mugisha Community Welfare Limited, a charity organization, whose doctrine rotates around Education empowerment, improving household income, food security, and environmental protection, has collaborated with Marie Stopes and asked them to provide services like cancer screening, diabetes, blood pressure, family planning, HIV testing and counseling, and others.
“The ultimate goal is that people in rural areas learn how to tackle their health challenges as early as they can. Women must know that they have to test for cervical cancer regularly or the very time they go to health centers.” Mrs Mugisha stresses
Mr Adam Kyakuwa, the Nyabubare sub-county representative in the district council told Countryside Reports that the Ba Mugisha initiative of health promotion has on the onset played a role of equipping people with knowledge on preventing and treating non-communicable diseases that have been eating up people’s lives.
The Bitooma sub-county representative in the district council, Mr John Bomukama, who is the minister for production, welcomes the initiative, saying that it will go a long way in helping people to manage their health and improve production since people need good health to produce what to help them live.
“I am beneficiary of the initiative and my people have learnt how to plan for their families. Any form of production requires the producer to be in good health and this program by Ba Mugisha is now promoting good health,” he says.
***This report has been adopted from www.countrysidereports.co.ug