Built in 1986, Losilang is one of five health centres which are run by the diocesan administration office, and consists of seven small consulting rooms serving a population of some ten thousand.
Sr Theopista Nanozzi, who is in charge of the Centre, says: “Our region is characterised by poor and irregular rains which hinders subsistence farming, causing food shortages nearly every year, and there is a high level of illiteracy amongst the locals, which makes the high prevalence of avoidable diseases, malnutrition, and malarias hard to combat.”
Nevertheless, the daily work of providing primary healthcare goes on, and the Centre has an outpatient department, and provides services such as ante- and post-natal care, immunisation jabs, TB screening, and HIV testing and counselling, as well as the provision of antiretroviral therapy for those who are HIV+.
“Although we engage in outreach work, this is only on a very local basis, as we lack transport facilities, and it is often left to the sick and ill to make their own way to us for treatment, if they are able. It is a situation we are anxious to change, and this could happen if we were more mobile. We have no means of dealing with medical emergencies or complications, and the government has said we will be upgraded, which will attract even more patients. In the year 2018-2019 [the last for which figures are available] we had over five thousand outpatient visits and two hundred and seventy babies were born here. The nearest hospital able to deal with emergencies is in Kanawat, 120km [75miles] away from us.”
Bishop Giuseppe Filippi of Kotido recommended Sr Theopista’s request for a grant to acquire a suitable vehicle, and told us “The Centre has few resources of its own, and sometimes struggles to provide what it does, so I would be very grateful for any support SURVIVE-MIVA can offer.”
As you can see from the sales receipt, the purchase of the four-by-four our grant made possible, from the aptly named ‘anointed’ dealers (?), happened just two days after we here in the UK went into our first lockdown, when so much was uncertain. As Bishop Giuseppe wrote at the time, things were little different at Losilang:
“The emergency caused by covid 19 came suddenly about and we though it wise to move and get the vehicle before restrictions were imposed. Thanks to the understanding of SURVIVE-MIVA we could move quickly and buy the car in Kampala, but we were not able to take it to Kotido until some weeks after. What worked in our favour was that the dealer was in hurry to sell the car, not knowing what the future was holding, and so he offered us a small discount of UGX 500,000.” [approx 100]
I thank SURVIVE-MIVA for the great helped granted to Losilang Health Centre II and to the Diocese of Kotido.