Saturday, 31 July 2021

Ugandan hospital talk

A GP was the guest speaker at Tuesday’s meeting of Henley Rotary Club.

A GP was the guest speaker at Tuesday’s meeting of Henley Rotary Club.

Dr Philip Unwin, senior partner at the Hart Surgery, told of his ongoing connection with the Kamuli Mission Hospital in Uganda.

Originally having worked with Henley Bridge Rotarian Dr Jim McWhirter at the Kamuli hospital, Dr Unwin has now concentrated his efforts on this area.

A medium-sized hospital with 100 beds and four wards, the Kamuli Mission Hospital was founded in 1914 as two grass huts, but is being developed continuously with accommodation for doctors, nurses, their families and visiting volunteers at a cost of £200,000.

Much of the fund-raising has been channelled through the Rotary Club of Jinja, the nearest large town.

Dr Unwin, who worked in the hospital’s surgical and maternity wards on his last visit, started the Kamuli Friends charity in 2012 to raise funds for necessary development, which includes relocating the paediatric ward into the hospital grounds and setting up a boundary fence to keep wildlife and local people from straying on to the site. This project is expected to cost another £150,000.

The charity’s aims are to provide funding for building projects, medical equipment, and introducing volunteers.

In this, Dr Unwin has been assisted by his niece, Dr Alice Unwin, who has organised the recruitment as well as raising funds specifically for an ambulance for transporting mothers in labour from the outlying districts to the maternity unit.

Dr. Unwin explained that he had looked into equipping a motorcycle with a sidecar, in which the expectant mother could be carried, rather than a 4x4 as it could dodge potholes easier. Ideally, he said, they need a helicopter, but that was out of the question at present.

After Maria Bunina had proposed the vote of thanks, president John Grout presented Dr Unwin with a cheque for £400 for the Kamuli Friends to which he said the donation would go a long way.

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