Guiding Light Orphans currently has five categories of programs. Our medical camps that are held twice per year and provide the most basic medical care, our VHT's that travel through the communities and check on patients between camps, our epilepsy program which treats and supports patients suffering with epilepsy, our first medical clinic that will serve our patients on a regular basis, and our current special projects.
Guiding Light Orphans (GLO) holds medical camps approximately twice a year in local villages of the Masindi district. The camps concentrate on education, disease prevention and treatment, and maternal, newborn, and child health and wellness services.
The medical camps give many people the rare opportunity to see medical professionals. For some, it is the first time in their lives. We are able to serve thousands of individuals by concentrating resources and staff for these events in areas that are accessible to local people.These medical camps serve approximately 4,000 patients in two days with a team of about 100 volunteers. Those volunteers include medical personnel who travel from other clinics and health facilities in Uganda to come and care for the many sick children and their caretakers in attendance.
VILLAGE HEALTH TEAM (VHT's)
There is a critical shortage of all types of health workers in Africa. Uganda has a nurse to patient ratio of 6 per 100,000 against the World Health Organization recommended ratio of 2.5 per 1,000. VHT’s fill this gap remarkably well, and in many places provide the first line of healthcare. While many health ministries in Africa have a community health strategy, with a core curriculum, they lack the capabilities to train a qualified health workforce, especially in remote areas like the one we are now serving.
GLO’s strategy in managing disease outbreak is to train our Village Health Team on a regular basis on how to effectively seek out patients and get them proper care. They are trusted members in their community and are key to getting information out to the villages about the services that Guiding Light Orphans offers.
Knowledge about the epilepsy epidemic is Uganda is very limited. There is no certain cause and people are very fearful of it. GLO has decided to raise awareness and understanding of epilepsy to improve acceptability, treatment, and services for the patients, families, and caregivers in Masindi.
Guiding Light Orphans provides education on management, counseling, and treatment for their epilepsy and any other health issues as well. The GLO staff provides educational programs through informational gatherings, reading materials, and posters on epilepsy. The hope is to decrease the social stigma and to promote a change of attitude towards people who suffer from the condition.
FIRST MEDICAL CLINIC
Guiding Light Orphans was generously donated two rooms in the local church in Nyantonzi that we are renovating into our first medical clinic. It will provide basic services to anyone living within the area that we serve. This will be especially beneficial to our patients that need medical attention between our bi-annual medical camps.
The clinic is currently in the process of being renovated and eventually furnished with all necessary medical equipment. We are hoping to see it ready to function by early 2016. It will be open a few days a week and staffed by our volunteer clinicians and medical professionals.
Sometimes we decide that we want to help more than what our four major programs cover. Those become our special projects.
We have been supporting over 60 young girls who attend Budongo Intermediate School, an all girls school within the area we serve, by providing them with uniforms, school supplies, and sanitary supplies so that they never have to miss school.
We also support a young girl named Christine Paska who was born with spina bifida. Without GLO providing her with the necessary surgeries and treatments she needed, she wouldn't have survived. With our continued help, Christine will thrive.