Kristina Health Center

Kristina Health Center opened its doors to the community and began treating patients on October 2, 2012. As the month of December opens, over 1,000 patients have been seen and treated. Prior to the clinic opening, patients were required to travel, in the best of cases four miles – and frequently more than forty – for the treatment required.

The Health Center consists of a ten room clinic, with consultation and treatment rooms, a laboratory, pharmacy, office, lobby and shaded veranda. Clean water is obtained on the KHC campus via a deep bore-hole well, electricity is available via solar power and KHC is furnished with essential medical equipment, supplies and medicines. A medical staff of five, living on campus in an adjacent living quarters, sees patients Monday through Friday, and on an emergency basis over the weekend. KHC provides primary medical care including triage and appropriate treatment, disease testing, inoculation, medication dispensing and education. The all-Ugandan staff is comprised of clinic manager, senior clinical officer, comprehensive nurses (2) and laboratory technician/HIV counselor. We anticipate in the future US and Australian based doctors, dentists and nurses will visit for both short and extended periods assisting the local staff.

Patients begin arriving at dawn, and some times the night before, and are seen on a first-come first-served basis, with the exception of emergency patients. Patients traveling (on foot or bicycle) up to 20 kilometers for treatment are not uncommon. Local Otuke District healthcare officials have utilized KHC for blood testing and inoculations. Vaccines requiring refrigeration are available for inoculation due to the only refrigerator/freezer in the district healthcare network.

Patients are charged a nominal fee for consultation, and medicines are provided at cost, plus a small markup. Patients unable to pay are not turned away, but treated and required to clear their balance before returning for treatment. In addition to the normal Ugandan Shilling payment, recent patient payments have included a live chicken and harvested crops – which the staff used for food. Self-sustainability is the goal for KHC; this may take a period of years. During the interim, funds to balance the budget will be provided by Achon Uganda Children’s Fund and, its sister organization, Love Mercy based in Australia.

Gustavo Hernando