Webmasters January 31, 2020 2 Comments

WHY YOU NEED TO VOLUNTEER WITH DISABLED PEOPLE IN UGANDA

“When you hear the word ‘disabled,’ people immediately think about people who can’t walk or talk or do everything that people take for granted. Now, I take nothing for granted. But find the real disability is people who can’t find joy in life and are bitter. “Teri Garr quoted.

Well, that is the whole idea about disabled people. It might be visual, hearing or moving limitations, whichever the case is, it makes the victim so vulnerable to the world.

Uganda is not the best country when it comes to the rights of the disabled people, they are discriminated and left out. They often feel out of place. So this article shows you the need to volunteer with the disabled people in Uganda.

According to the Uganda Population and Housing Census Report (2002), four out of every 25 persons in Uganda are disabled people under the age of 18. The different forms of disability include Difficulty in hearing, Difficulty in speaking, Difficulty in moving around and using other body parts: Difficulty in seeing, strange behavior, Epilepsy, Difficulty in learning, Leprosy and loss of feeling.

Unfortunately, the disabled children continue to experience physical barriers, inadequate information, rehabilitation and unfriendly services. Limited accessibility to such services has contributed to social exclusion of disabled people in the communities they live in.

However, The National Policy on Disability in Uganda aims at promoting equal opportunities for enhanced empowerment, participation and protection of rights of the disabled people irrespective of the gender, age and type of disability. This is in recognition that children with disabilities can perform to their full potential given the same conditions and opportunities irrespective of their social, economic and cultural backgrounds.

Generally, disabled people are vulnerable by virtue of their impairment and negative societal attitudes arising from fear, ignorance, superstitions, neglect and of awareness. And currently, the Special Needs Education under the Ministry of Education and Sports addresses issues of children learning with disabilities.

The Government has also put in place a rehabilitation and resettlement scheme that includes vocational rehabilitation services, sheltered workshops that focus on skills training for provision of assistive devices to disabled people in Uganda.

However, you should note that despite the above existing programs, there’s scarcity of appropriate educational scholastic and instructional materials, inadequate training of staff handling concerns of the disabled people, outdated and limited  skills in vocational skills in vocational rehabilitation centers, use of languages that are not comprehensible to these unlucky ones and high costs of assistive services such as guides, helpers, and interpreters which are the major factors that hinder the education  and skills training of the disabled children.

Therefore, poor access to education in childhood means that a high proportion of the disabled people remain illiterate and unskilled; the major cause of the high levels of poverty and low standards of living.

Communities often discriminate against and marginalize the disabled people because of negative beliefs, norms and customs. This is due to the limited understanding by the communities of the causes of disabilities as well as the rights and potentials of the disabled people. Communities in Uganda have totally convinced themselves that disabled people are less people who don’t deserve equal treatment.

This the very reason why Uganda needs volunteers. Volunteers who are able; to promote and strengthen awareness creation programs on disability at all levels, establish community based networks to access the disabled people to the needed services.

Volunteers who can promote micro-finance education and health initiatives that benefit households of the disabled people and their caregivers and recommend publicity through the media such as radio, T.V Newspapers and posters.

Uganda needs volunteers who can spend time with the disable people, teaching them, feeding them, caring for them and simply making them feel loved regardless of their forms of limitation.

Webmasters January 2, 2020 1 Comment

THE NEED FOR VOLUNTEERS IN  HOSPITALS IN UGANDA

In 2012, Uganda suffered two major hemorrhagic fever outbreaks creating an immediate need for volunteers in hospitals in Uganda till date

First the dread Ebola hemorrhagic fever hit the remote district of Kibaale in the Western part of the country. As the country was trying to recover from the Ebola outbreak, another deadly disease, Marburg fever broke out in Kabale in South Western Uganda.

Kibaale district is 219 kilometers away from Kampala. Although the district has a main government hospital, it needs more volunteers due to the  lack of requisite medical expertise to handle such epidemics.

Specialized doctors and other volunteers in hospitals had to travel from Kampala to camp in Kibaale until the disease was fought to the end.  Samples would be taken in Kibaale and driven back in Kampala for tests. This same approach was applied to manage Marburg cases in Kabale and patients suffered because there were no volunteers in hospitals on the frontline to curb these epidemics in anyway.

The total number of hospitals (public and private) in Uganda is 155.Of these, 2 are National Referral Hospitals (Mulago and Butabika), 14 are regional Referral Hospitals and 139 are General Hospitals.

In terms of ownership, 65 are government owned, 63 PNFP and 27 are private and these provide preventive, promotive outpatient curative, maternity, inpatient, emergency surgery and blood transfusion and laboratory services.

It is widely accepted that health is wealth. This is because good health is a strong foundation on which success and prosperity can be built. Yet, inequalities in access to health care are a major concern in Uganda and this is one of the reasons why there is need for volunteers in hospitals of Uganda.

Uganda suffers a chronic shortage of trained health workers and the few trained doctors keep grumbling over their pay cheque, unlike the volunteers who could be there full time just to help the patients recover with smiles on their faces.

Probably this is why 16 mothers die as they give birth and 131 per 1000children die before the age of five.

Only 38% of health care posts are filled in Uganda. Those health workers within the country have little incentive to work in poor rural areas and 40% of nurses and midwives are based in urban areas, serving only 12% of the Ugandan population.

This implies that access to health care between rural and urban areas is highly imbalanced and with most Ugandans living in rural areas it implies that their ability to get better healthcarethat is only in urban centers is limited.

With volunteers in hospitals placed in different localities in rural areas, there will be easy access to better health care services the fact the number of medical personnels in hospitals will have increased.

Volunteers in Hospitals can give first aid to patients who are badly off for example those with injuries from accidents as they wait on the doctors to work on them.

Volunteers also help to transport patients, give directions or escort visitors to see their patients, answer telephone calls, socialize with patients and visitors and others do some cleaning which ease service delivery in public hospitals.

The need for volunteers in hospitals not only focuses on the hospital benefits but also cuts across the individual benefits for example; volunteers gain more knowledge in the medical field and how best they can handle patients through health workshops and camps.

We therefore appeal to the government to allow more people to volunteer in public hospitals and work more with trained doctors for better service delivery to all Ugandans.

In addition to that, public universities should give more time for students to volunteer in hospitals during their internship.

If people who are not medics can still volunteer in hospitals in other departments like administration, accounts, counselling, cleaning and many others.

You want a suitable hospital to volunteer in? One that allows you meet people at their points of need? Then we are here for you. Send us an email at info@volunteeringinuganda.org