In light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to give all our friends near and far an update about how we are RHHJ have tried to manage the situation on the ground in Uganda...
The virus officially reached Uganda on the 21st March, 2020. In a country where access to health care is very limited, this is disastrous for everyone living in Uganda, but especially for all of our patients who are already immunocompromised (with HIV/AIDS, Cancer among other illnesses and diseases). Our team faced a very difficult decision because we wanted to ensure that our patients would be stocked with the palliative medicines and food they desperately need, but we did not want to risk the slightest possibility of spreading the virus to our patients - most vulnerable in the population. Thus, was decision was made to ramp up our operations to make sure that we could see every patient that we care for in just five days, from 23rd - 28th March.
Our team is surely one of the most dedicated and caring in the world. Our clinicians, nurses, drivers and social worker went out every day, leaving very early in the morning and most times returning long after dark. All 21 routes were visited in these five days and every patient seen was left with a stock of medicine for 2 months. When the public transport ban hit our patients on treatment at Mulago Cancer Institute in Kampala and they were unable to get back to their villages, RHHJ cars came to the rescue helped them reach home safely.
Our team reported that many of our patients were extremely anxious about the situation and they actually thought that RHHJ would not visit them at all. Many had started to use their medication that they had left sparingly so that they would have enough through the crisis. Our patients were so grateful and thankful that we remembered them even during these difficult times. No-one should have to live in pain and no-on eshould have to suffer as much as many of our patients have in the past. Our heart breaks to think of the many other people who need support but who have no access to it.
Rays of Hope Hospice Jinja cannot solve the problems of the continent, but we can do our very best to help our patients live in peace and without pain every day until they die, and hopefully also help many of them to survive until there is again help and treatment to get for their disease. And we know that when this is all over, we shall have many more new patients who during all the pandemic control restrictions will have deteriorated even further.
Thank you for your continued support, and thank you to our team for making this possible! Stay safe everyone.
Transporting our patients from Mulago:
Our team tried to ease concerns and make people smile wherever we could!
Our team was very happy to see that many of our patients had set up their own hand washing stations outside of their homes
Throughout this week, our team saw many of our patients in truly awful conditions, and we tried our best to alleviate their concerns and to leave them with enough medication to get them through this crisis.