CHRISTIAN FOUNDATION FOR
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (CFCD)

Report -- November, 2011.

 

Challenges Facing the African Mothers and Their Children

A couple of weeks ago, I had an oportunity of sharing with the president Hope4Kids International Tom Eggums together with hope4kids team members at Rock Classic Tororo. The sharing was about infant mortality rate and family planning methods in Africa. It was a touching moment because it made me to reflect as I grew to become a man in the mountains and valleys of Kabale in Kigezi region western Uganda. It also made me to refocus on the challenges the African mothers and their children go through.

I told Tom and his colleagues that there are a lot of reasons why the infant motality rate is high and why Africans produce many children. Average seven. These include poverty, ignorance, disease, wars and many others. All these problems combined can’t allow many African children to live up to five years. They make mothers and fathers to have a big number of children with a belief that there can be survivors in case some die. Poverty and ignorance are the most prominent because a poor person lacks the basic needs of life like good shelter, clothes, soap, mosquito nets to prevent malaria and others. You can’t escape diseases that come as a result of poor hygiene because you don’t have the means to get things that can help you.

In our family we were born eight but we are remaining four. If the children survive death, then they may not survive hunger that comes with malnutrition. Poverty in Africa has a negative impact on both the adults and children. As they grow, there is limited health centers or no hospitals at all in their localities. In Uganda, things have somehow improved but there is still a lot of work to do because in the available hospitals/health centers there are few drugs and few medical staff. Other problems that always accompany the ones mentioned above is lack of education, clean water and others. These problems are not new. They have been there for decades except that now there is awareness and many NGOs and churches have come in to partner with governments and local organizations to fight these problems.

Recently, I asked my mother how she delivered me dulling those old days. She told me that 40 years ago when I was born, things were not easy. Because of limited health facilities, many mothers who may neeed an operation used to die with children in their wombs in villages. Because of the steep terrain’s, rivers and lakes in South western Uganda, easy means of transport to the hospital that may be miles away were hard to get. The only means they would use were a stretcher (engozi in our language) which I may equate to a modern ambulance today.

A patient would be lucky to reach the hospital before she dies because people would walk many miles to reach the hospital. In such circumstances, mothers would prefer to deliver behind their houses or in banana plantations (a situation that still happens). My mother told me that she wanted so much to deliver from Kabale hospital and she begun to prepare herself when she was five months pregnant. As she neared her term, she traveled from Kacerere on the west side of Lake Bunyonyi where they were living and working to her auntie’s home in Bugongi who was staying near the hospital (about 4 km). She stayed with her aunt for two months before labor started in the evening at about 6:00 p.m while she was taking a birth.

She summoned her aunt who upon satisfying herself that things were in early stages, arranged for a male relative called Petero to escort the patient at Kabale hospital. Darkness fell as they set off on the journey. My mother in a rapidly progressive labor, walked the four kilometers to the hospital. She recalls walking fast up the hill where the hospital is located. It was a very painful labor and no pain relief was offered. The pain got to a point where she asked her midwife to request the doctor for a caesarian section.

She disagreed. Instead she encouraged her patient to persevere. My mother still sings her praises as a gentle, highly capable midwife whose hands delivered me from the treacherous birth canal at 10:00 a.m. We were discharged from the hospital after one week. My father had already hired a bicycle from one Katabarwa to take my mother back to Kacerere. It was one of the luxurious means of transport by then. Perched on the mettle career on Katabarwas bicycle, clutching her new born in her arms, my mother embarked on a painful journey to her home.

The bicycle ride on the bumpy road from the hospital to the base of Rutooma and Kacwekano mountains was the easy part. To get up the long, winding road in those steep hills, my mother had to disembark from the bicycle and foot it to the top. A short bike ride down the other side of the hills brought Katabarwa and his passengers to the lake. A canoe was hired to ferry us across, followed by the bicycle ride again, this time along treacherous path to Kacerere a distance of around 15 kilometers. My mother has narrated this journey to me several times. The details have not varied confirming the accuracy of the memory. What is humbling is that my mother was one of the privileged ones with access to a hospital, bicycle and canoe transportation and other help.

Many of her peers succumbed to pregnancy and child birth. I salute my mother and pay tribute to the millions of Ugandan women who have died in child birth in the years since I was born up to today.

 

Service to God.

Today, mothers still die in child birth and many children who are lucky to be born face a lot of challenges. Had it not to be the grace of God, I would have died long time ago. Who am I to survive death out of 8 children? That’s why in Christian Foundation we see the hospital ministry as a real service to God. To the American friends and churches who have supported this ministry, I say God bless you. In his own words Jesus did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. We should equally serve God if we want an everlasting reward from heaven. And in his marvelous tender letter to the philipians, Paul writing from prison said: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Imitating Christ is a tall order for most of us. Yet it is not an option.

It is a mandatory, a tribute that every Christian must seek with the help of the Holy Spirit. It is incompatible with the selfish ambition and vain conceit that often informs our lives. There is nothing wrong with positive ambition which drives us to excel in our careers and legitimate endeavors. What is wrong is a selfish ambition which Paul lists in the book of Galatians 5:19-21. Selfish ambition is seen by greed and pride. The American people and others who support our hospital and prison ministries have shown a heart of humbleness and servitude. They have not become greedy but have shared what they have to the poor mothers, children and the sick in general at Tororo hospital and prison facilities. When Paul urges to consider others better than ourselves, he does not call upon us to deny our gifts and abilities. He wants us to use them for the furtherance of Gods work. He reminds us that we are Gods people. Thank you for uplifting the name of the Lord Jesus by the life you live!

 

November Outreaches

This month alone, the Lord has touched the lives of 50 people in both hospital and prison. We are continuing to support the sick that need medicines and x-ray services outside Tororo hospital and our feeding programs to children and adults continues.

 

Painting

On the painting of male and maternity wards at Tororo hospital, iam happy to tell you that we are in final touches on the male ward. God willing we shall continue with the maternity ward. We must give the pregnant women a clean environment to deliver from.

 

 

FINANCIAL OUTREACH REPORT

E X P E N S E S
Nos ITEM QUANTITY UNIT COST
in Ug Shs
TOTAL COST
in Ug Shs
1 Rice 30 kgs 3000 90,000
2 Bananas 4 bunches 25,000 100,000
3 Maize flour 40 kg 2000 80,000
4 Silver fish 1 sack 200,000 200,000
5 Beans 20 kg 2000 40,000
6 Cabages 10 heads 1500 15,000
7 Cooking Oil 20 lts 6000 120,000
8 Meat 12 kg 8000 96,000
9 Spices   50,000 50,000
10 Milk 300 lts 1400 420,000
11 Sugar 50 kg 5000 250,000
12 Soap 3 blx 73,000 219,000
13 Toilet Paper 2 cartons 25,000 50,000
14 Detergent/jik 2 blxes 30,000 60,000
15 Tooth Paste 5 dozen 8400 42,000
16 Tooth Brush 5 dozen 72000 36,000
17 Medicine     1,250,000
18 X-ray 4 x-rays 15,000 60,000
19 Paints     1,200,000
20 Communication     100,000
21 Transport     150,000
22 Rent 2 months 200,000 400,000
23 Water/Electricity 1 month 30,000 30,000
24 Allowances 3 people   300,000
  TOTAL 5,358,000

 

F I N A N C I A L   R E P O R T
INCOME SHILLINGS
Bal c/d 41,000
Donations 5,000,000
Local Contributions 317,000
TOTAL INCOME 5,358,000
LESS EXPENDITURE  
Food 791,000
Drinks 670,000
Hygiene Materials 407,000
Medicine/X-rays 1,310,000
Others 2,180,000
TOTAL EXPENDITURE 4,959,000
Bal c/d 0

Receipts of items that are not found in formal markets especially fresh foods are not catered for. May God bless you abundantly.

Report by,
Eric Sabiiti Alinda.