Maranatha Health worked in Kamwenge village for about 2 years (with many years of relationship building and governance work before this). Kamwenge is a poor remote area of Western Uganda, with high mortality rates, low literacy and education levels, and dysfunctional health services. There are no hospitals and only 1 doctor for a population of over 300,000.
Maranatha Health built a 25-bed health facility, which provided a variety of direct curative services to the general population in Kamwenge. Services offered included out patient care, antenatal care, ultrasound, in-patient ward services, a (very simple) form of ICU, paediatrics, blood transfusion services and delivery. The majority of conditions were typical of Uganda and the developing world generally – malaria, HIV/AIDs, pneumonia, malnutrition, infections, child-birth complications, etc.
Maranatha Health also had a health education/behaviour change program at the village level, in partnerships with several communities, aimed at preventing health problems. These programs focused on developing and implementing simple health messages, delivered neighbour to neighbour via village health advisors (who called themselves the abahabuzi b’ebyamagara or ABs), using pictorial resources, and were focused on changing the ABs own household as an example to others. There were promising results in this program, but also many challenges and complexities that remained. Read Francis’s story and Edsa & Roben’s story >
Maranatha Health quickly became a thriving and successful health centre, and despite our low staff numbers (we employed 30 Ugandan staff members), our fee-for-service (roughly 30% of total running costs were charged), our simple buildings and limited equipment, MH quickly gained a reputation as a very good clinic, with people coming from neighbouring districts (50+kms away) to seek care. The clinic saw over 1,200 people a month during its operation. Our staff often marvelled at the quality of our services and the positive outcomes to patients. Read Joshua's story and Susanne's story >
Due to unforeseen challenges very much outside of our control, Maranatha Health’s Kamwenge site was forced to close in 2013. After much grieving, soul searching, and discussion, Maranatha Health #2 was established in Fort Portal in the neighbouring district of Kabarole. Read about Maranatha Health’s new work here.
We were devastated about closing the clinic, and the loss of quality health services for the people of Kamwenge. We hope to find new ways to support that community in the future.