Hope & Healing Center: A rural based clinic saving lives
By Elizabeth Namara
Situated 25km away from Iganga town in Kiwanyi village, Kigulu North County is a private clinic that is saving the lives of people in this community and the neighboring areas.
To meet the need for better and accessible health care, community members together with the support of the local leaders through their generosity donated 9.5 acres of land to Dr. Isaac Mubezi, a general surgeon to support his efforts in creating better health care opportunities for the rural poor.
Isaac and his wife Rachel Mubezi started Hope and Healing Center a facility designed to serve the needs of the community in Kiwanyi, and its environs, and fulfilling the need for healthcare and outreach in the community.
On March 18, 2022, the first surgical camp was conducted and at least sixty-one successful surgeries were recorded in one week.
At the camp were three surgeons, five medical officers, and one pathologist. It is important to note that medical camps and outreaches have also been held in the community by this very team.
Hope and Healing Center is the first of its kind in Iganga and deals in general and specialized surgery. To anyone who is well conversant with the typical Ugandan health care system, it’s a great surprise to have surgeons who are still concerned about the well-being of the people without thinking about the financial implications.
It is common for surgeons to distance themselves from rural areas as people there are less likely to afford their services. Poor Ugandans rely on understaffed and understocked public hospitals because it is their only choice.
The fact that Hope and Healing Center operates day and night; all year round in a village setting simply signifies that there are people who have the health plight of the people at heart.
It is the payment system that sets this facility apart from the rest, only 10,000 Uganda shillings is required for any community member to access consultation all year round. As if not enough, even the laboratory and medicine costs are way affordable for the community members.
“Patients at this facility pay a membership fee of 10,000 shillings annually. With this money, they can get consultations without any other fees added. A C-section at Hope and Healing center is at 300,000/= with all other costs inclusive.” Dr. Isaac Mubezi, the founder of Hope and Healing Center explained.
Dr. Mubezi also noted that the medication and laboratory services are offered at a very low price compared to other clinics.
“Our goal is to be a center of influence for surgical and maternal care in the region able to operate anyone safely and effectively,” he added.
Mr. Edirisa Musobya, a resident of Kiwanyi appreciates the services of the facility, as a beneficiary from the camp, he said that the amount of money charged for surgery was not high and very affordable. “Every patient got medicine without paying. Dr. Mubezi is helping the community, we are happy,” Mr. Musobya affirmed.
It is all smiles for the people of Kiwanyi and the neighboring communities as the people no longer trek long distances to access care. “We are in the community and people are happy that they can get cheaper and good services.” Mr. Musobya noted.
According to the resident surgeon and founder of Hope and Healing center, the health facility has been operating since February 2019 and currently has about 3000 people as registered members.
Dr. Mubezi calls upon fellow health workers to bring their expertise to the health table because it is more fulfilling seeing lives being transformed. According to the World Health Organization, Uganda’s doctor to patient ratio is 1:25,000.
Dr. Mubezi noted: “Before we came here people had never seen a medical doctor later alone a surgeon. The impact of Hope and Healing is felt and the people appreciate it. Without such affordable services, people are at risk of losing their lives. The satisfaction is in being able to see that we have touched and changed lives.”
It is evident that the government has not supported the health system to the expectation but some of the support should be in waving taxes, providing electricity and water, and ensuring there are access roads.
Iganga district has a sparse supply of healthcare facilities, some poorly staffed, congested, and understocked, yet there is a dire need for a general and specific diagnosis, as well as timely treatment to reduce preventable deaths linked to poor access to healthcare due to long distances to the only available district hospital.
It is from this background that Something Deeper Ministries (SDM) set out to develop Hope and Healing Center a fairly large, fully stocked, and locally integrated hospital in Kiwanyi, Kigulu North.
Something Deeper Ministries (SDM) is a registered, faith-based, private, not-for-profit organization in Uganda whose vision is to empower the young generation to wholeness with skills to transform their community in a way that honors God.