When was the last time you heard of a building project being completed under budget? This is rare enough in North America. But in Eastern Africa, where currency fluctuates more rapidly and supply chains are not as dependable, finishing a building under budget is rare indeed!
However, this is the news we just received from Kigezi, Uganda. In 2016, the ARDF Global Council agreed to fund a project in rural Uganda. The Anglican Diocese of North Kigezi had purchased land for a community health center and the Nyakishenyi African Mission, had raised enough funds to build the Nyakishenyi Medical Center. This new center would provide much needed medical care to the people of Kigezi. Community members were dying of what we would consider treatable diseases due to the lack of health services. The 16-room medical center has a general ward, maternity ward, laboratory, dispensary and treatment rooms. With the hospital buildings complete, the Nyakishenyi Africa Mission now needed to complete housing for staff in order to recruit medical professionals to come work at the hospital.
Over the last five months, not only were the planned staff accommodations completed, but a kitchen was built to allow families of patients space to prepare food for their loved ones receiving care.
The staff house will allow Nyakishenyi African Mission to accommodate the staff, which is critical to running the facility smoothly. The Board of Directors of the hospital has posted job descriptions and is interviewing candidates. The Nyakishenyi Medical Center is expected to open by the end of March 2018 and the Board will invite the community to a ceremony and tell them of the services offered.
We are excited that once opened, over 800 people (an expected 100 women in the maternity ward, 200 community members, and 500 children) will receive medical care at the center in the first year it is open. Families will also learn better health practices that will lead to a drop in childhood mortality rates. Patients visiting the facility will pay for the visit and for medications. However, those who cannot afford the fees will still receive care.
The ARDF development model always emphasizes sustainability and this project is no different. Nyakishenyi African Mission expects that after one year the center will be self-sustaining using the income from the medical center to cover costs. Best of all, a diocesan evangelist will lead daily devotions for patients and their families, allowing an estimated 3,500 people to engage with the Scriptures over one year.
Please celebrate with us the completion of the Staff House at Nyakishenyi Medical Center and pray for those who will be coming to work as well as those who will receive both physical and spiritual care through the Anglican church in North Kigezi.
Interested in how healthcare might transform another community?
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