Gift’s Story – We sponsored Gift from the age of 9 when she was attending World Shine Primary School, which is adjacent to Hope Clinic, having been built on World Shine land in 2018. Gift is a shy girl who has a squint so was sometimes ostracised by her community. She lived in the mountains surrounding Rwentobo with her father, who is an amputee due to a farming accident, her mother, two sisters, one of whom is severely brain damaged due to epilepsy and her two brothers. We were able to visit the family home when we visited World Shine School in Rwentobo in 2014 and this required a hike up the mountainside to the homestead which consisted of two shacks and an outdoor latrine, with no electricity or running water. They survived on subsistence farming and much of the work was done by Gift’s mother.The photo shows Gift’s parents with her disabled sister in 2014.
In June 2023, Nurse Martha contacted Gift’s parents to tell them that we wanted torenew the health insurance premium for the whole family and that was when she was informed of Gift’s change in circumstances. Uganda had one of the longest lockdowns due to the pandemic, so Gift was unable to complete her vocational course in tailoring. Like many girls in Uganda she became pregnant but, unlike some, the baby's young father, who is a carpenter, married Gift and they are now living as a family. Martha was able to contact Gift to tell her that the Kisiizi Health Insurance Scheme would be extended to her small family. When Gift visited the clinic with her new baby Trinah to thank them for their care, Nurse Martha took the opportunity to advise Gift about family planning and Gift returned a week later when a three-year contraceptive implant was inserted into her arm. This means that when Gift is no longer fully breastfeeding the baby, she will still be protected from unplanned pregnancy, for which she is very grateful. Gift will return with the baby for her immunisations when they are due. The photos shows nurse Martha with Gift and baby Trinah.
Family planning and childhood immunisations are funded by the government but there is no cover for acute illness or accidents so the health insurance scheme is so important when incomes are very low. The cost to cover 7 people including Gift’s parents and family still living with them was £19.50 (91,000ugx) for one year, and for Gift and her baby the annual premium was just over £11.00 (52,000ugx). We intend to add her husband too.
Hope Clinic supports hundreds of mothers like Gift, and their children, providing life-transforming healthcare and health education. And for many, this is the first time they have had support from a trained medical professional. Every week, over 100 people receive medical care and support at Hope Clinic that transforms their lives and future chances. This includes immunisation clinics, diagnosis and treatment for malaria, and life-saving preventative care. Investing in the Kisiizi Health Insurance Scheme enables families to access this care at very low cost.
But the need is great. As news of the clinic spreads, demand for their services has reached an all-time high. We urgently need to recruit an additional Clinical Officer to the team and buy new supplies for the clinic. We also hope to extend maternity services to include the delivery of babies by the end of the year in an area where maternal and neonatal death is far too high.
Your compassion, prayers and generosity will enable this to happen.
Debbie and Mick were delighted to receive a visit from Gift and her husband Eric and baby Trinah when they visited the clinic in September 2023. Gift is happily breastfeeding her baby and is a confident and joyful mother. Eric continues to support the family with his carpentry.