Introducing the Mpunde Health Center
Last Thursday, November 22nd, ETH hosted the grand opening of the Mpunde Health Center in Uganda as Thanksgiving was being celebrated in America.
We decided to have the grand opening for the Mpunde Health Center, which has been operating for just over a month to raise awareness in the region and build excitement for the health center.
Background: An Underserved Region
Before the health center opened, the 20,000 people in our catchment region surrounding the village of Mpunde in eastern Uganda would need to save around $10 just for transport to an often undersupplied hospital, and then ride motorcycles along very bad roads for many hours to get there!
For some context, almost all of our patients are subsistence farmers. Beyond what they grow, a family of ten makes roughly $50 per year on average. Imagine using 20% of your annual income just for transport to a hospital that does not even have medicine half of the time! It’s no wonder the rates of mortality are so terrible and the community is so eager for our health center.
The Mpunde Health Center: Turning a Corner
We want to briefly describe how the Mpunde Health Center operates to serve the region around Mpunde and how the lessons we learn here will inform future models of healthcare in the world’s most vulnerable places. For the past month of operations, we have one amazing nurse, Zubeidah (who you may have seen on our social media), working full time at the health center. Over the next month, we plan to scale up our healthcare capacity by adding a clinical officer (equivalent to a PA), a lab technician, and a nursing assistant.
We currently treat acute conditions like malaria and chronic conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes and hypertension. Adding these additional staff will enable us to expand the scope of our operation by adding laboratory capacity and allowing us to conduct more complex medical procedures, such as cesarean deliveries and HIV antiretroviral treatment. It’s our goal to make Mpunde Health Center completely sustainable. We are planning to roll out a community health insurance scheme utilizing mobile money transfer systems and enlisting the community health worker network to enroll people. Since the cost of medicine in Uganda is heavily subsidized by international aid organizations and the Ugandan government, we believe it is possible to make our healthcare provision in Mpunde 100% sustainable while charging affordable insurance rates of around $2 per month per family.
You Can Help Us Develop the Mpunde Health Center
To make the Mpunde Health Center as successful as possible, our catchment population first needs to see that we are providing quality care. To do this, we need your support.
Tomorrow—Friday, November 30—we will be launching a fundraising campaign to support the Mpunde Health Center. Stay tuned into our emails, social media, and website to see how you can support the campaign.
We ask that you become a partner in our mission to make the world a little bit more by empowering forgotten people in a forgotten corner of the world agency to determine their own destinies through better healthcare.