Due to extreme poverty, lack of education and limited health services in Busoga region many of our clients are not able to access the diagnostic investigations and treatment they require. The result is that diseases which can actually be treated quite easily are left to develop the full course of disease causing immense suffering for the person and for their family.
In 2016 Rays of Hope Hospice Jinja started a special programme designed to help people with life threatening but possibly treatable diseases. We assist with transport, diagnostic tests and treatment and even upkeep for the very poor. If the family can afford to pay part of the expenses, we will cost share.
During the 18 months of the programme more than 60 clients have received help. The average cost for those fully treated is around $200. A small price for a life, and a great investment in future development to keep a bread winner alive.
We collaborate with Transport for Ugandan Sick Children (TUSC) , which transports those who cannot use public transport or bring bigger groups when we have many who need to go to Mulago National Referral Hospital in Kampala (85 km).
We also work very closely together with Kawempe Home Care, which in August 2016 opened a hostel for children who are undergoing investigations and treatment for cancer at Mulago. The children can stay and eat for free with their caretakers, and they are helped to go to scheduled appointments.
These two partnerships have not only kept the overall treatment costs down, they have made it possible for patients who otherwise never would receive treatment as they can’t find their way to and around Kampala, or be able to stay for the time that may be required, sometimes months.
Another important link in the chain of supporting and helping our patients referred to Mulago is a patient navigator, Zaina, who for years have been helping clients get through the maze of Mulago. Also, through her we can organize payments for tests, medicines or other support, which the clients may need.