Double Cure Medical Centre
The Double Cure Medical Centre (DCMC) began as a single building with a staff of one nurse, one visiting doctor, one midwife and one administrator who cared for patients on an outpatient basis. Over the next five years, it gradually expanded to include a maternity ward, one small general ward, a basic pharmacy, dental services, health education programs both on site and in the surrounding villages, an ambulance, a small chapel, the building of an emergency surgery center and certification as an HIV/AIDS center.
The town of Mpigi is about 30 miles south of the capital Kampala on a heavily trafficked and dangerous road. The town and surrounding villages have little or no medical facilities for safe maternal health, immunizations, preventive health education or emergency medical services. Ugandans are generally under the constant burden of poor health due to the “triple sourge” of HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB and other tropical diseases but when you add the lack of education and services you realize that many deaths are preventable.
The people of Mpigi were thus very grateful when the first phase of the DCMC opened in December 2007. The immediate call was for safe deliveries and so in March 2008 the Maternity Ward opened with a full time midwife helping ease many births. In May 2008 an ambulance was purchased, thanks to the fundraising efforts of two schools and one determined young man in the Philadelphia area. This ambulance serves many purposes, transport for patients to larger hospitals, but most especially as a mobile clinic that can visit outlying villages with educational programs. Also in 2008, the Dental Clinic became a reality. When you see our African friends you are struck by their beautiful white teeth. You might think they have wonderful teeth. When their dental health is examined, it's another story. Preventive dentistry is not part of their lives. Friends of ECHOES and DCMC supported this needed service and bought the dental chair and the necessary dental equipment.
For these efforts, we thank our supporters!
The ECHOES Call to Care 2010 event, Operation Healing Hands, raised the much needed funds to address vital community needs to expand the Double Cure Medical Centre. The main request of the expanding hospital was for a surgery center, not for major surgeries but more of what we envision as an emergency room. The heavily trafficked highway brings many accident cases to Double Cure and the ability to do Caesarian sections would save many mothers and babies. When it is fully operational, DCMC can serve 400 patients each week, between its general medicine, immunizations, emergency surgeries, family planning and maternal health classes and weekly visits to outlying villages for health education and inoculations.
August 2011 update of the 2010 Call to Care event: Advisory Board member Jeff Kaiser visited the DCMC in June and August, 2011. He reported DCMC had grown dramatically since his last visit three years ago. The outpatient ward was full of new mothers, some participating in a breastfeeding and infant health clinic. The ECHOES funding allowed completion of the following efforts: electrical wiring of the operating theatre (they have a very powerful generator to supply the facility when the electricity runs away, as the saying goes), tiling of the walls to minimize the dust, painting of the outside of the building, and the purchase and delivery of an X-Ray machine, operating table and a delivery bed. The next steps include completing the flooring, the air conditioning, purchasing additional operating theatre equipment and making the X-Ray room operational.