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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Kikandwa Health Clinic Opening: Child Development

          Today as we got to take part in all of the joy and gratitude the village was expressing at the grand opening of their new health center, a theme in the speeches became apparent. As important as this clinic will be for all the members of the Kikandwa community, the speakers stressed that the clinic would be especially beneficial to the kids of the village. Today at the ceremony, there were kids everywhere, from infants to school-aged. They shared in the excitement of the day, and are clearly an important part of the village community.
Of Uganda’s population today, 48.7% is under the age of 15. The birthrate is 3.24%, making Uganda the ninth fastest growing country in the world. For all of these kids, there are many challenges that stand in the way of them being healthy. These challenges vary from urban to rural areas. A very experienced midwife/pediatric nurse we talked to after the ceremony today listed the following diseases as the main problems for the kids around Kikandwa village: malaria, pneumonia, tuberculosis, HIV passed from the mothers and malnutrition. She also said that kids under five years old are most susceptible to malaria.
This list of dangerous diseases may seem discouraging, but this is where the clinic comes in.  With a maternity and prenatal department, there is a focus on preventative healthcare from the start. One of the speakers today urged the mothers of the community to begin health in their homes, teaching their children how to prevent disease. With the new resources available, the health clinic should be able to serve as both a great treatment facility and also as an effective education center. The emphasis that the elders and speakers put on prevention and the focus on pediatric health seem to be a promising strategy for increasing the overall health and prosperity of the village. Seeing all of the kids dance and laugh today gave us a glimpse of the joy that hope in the future can bring, and it is exciting to see the part the clinic will play in that.


  1. I was also impressed that in the speeches the people really wanted to run the health clinic for themselves with out Drake's constant help. This makes it even more sustainable for them. I too was amazed by the gratitude of the people of the village expressed. So many people came up and gave us hugs and shook our hands. It was an awesome experience.

  2. I agree with you, Jena. I was very impressed and excited to see so many residents in the village ready to take on the initiative to have a health center of their own. Also, i had no idea the impact of a health center would be on the village, but after having ladies give me hugs and thanks I have faith they will get the care they need and make sure the health center is sustainable.

  3. Karli- I agree that the health clinic will be vital in educating the youth. The health care presentations conducted by Ali, Hayley, Morgan, and Megan at the center even proved to be helpful. I approached students after these presentations to see if they benefited from them. Many said that it was the first time they properly learned how to brush their teeth and wash their hands. It was great to see the opening of the healthcare clinic already benefitting the youth. Pediatric health is vital for the communities future, and I can't wait to see what the healthcare clinic will do for them.