International partnership helps establish maternity clinic in Uganda

By Larry Hutchings, member and past president of the Rotary Club of Clayton Valley/Concord Sunrise, District 5160, California

On 31 March I was at home in the San Francisco Bay Area, wishing I could be with my Rotary friends in Uganda. They were dedicating the new Pediatric wing of the Nsawo Village Maternity Clinic that together we had worked so hard to complete. By the time you read this, they will have enjoyed an entire day of celebration, entertainment, and free examinations in a village that just a few years ago lacked medical care.

In 2010, a local Rotarian in California introduced me online to Rotarian Deborah Luyima from the Muyenga Rotary Club in Uganda. Deborah dreamed of improving life in her 2500-resident home village that is located 60 kilometers north of Muyenga and the capital Kampala. Together Clayton Valley/Concord Sunrise Rotary Club and her club agreed to “Adopt-a-Village.” It was to be a comprehensive project to end poverty by reducing maternal and childhood illness, improve diets, increase school attendance, and expand family incomes.

How excited we were just months later to meet Deborah and her fellow club members at the 2011 Rotary International Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. We had been working together on our first global grant and were able to spend two days planning and becoming friends.

That grant allowed us to create resources to support hygiene and nutrition. Mosquito nets reduced childhood malaria by 95%. Clean water, pit latrines and handwashing stations at the schools resulted in improved children’s health and led to fewer health-related school absences.

In 2012, our second global grant focused on vocational schools for youth and business development for women. Grant funds provided brickmaking machines, sewing machines, and equipment for a catering business.

Teenagers used those brickmaking machines to construct a building on donated land. In 2016, together we were able to equip and supply it as a maternity clinic. A doctor from our club has visited the village twice and frequently works with the local staff to advise on what equipment and supplies are needed. A small ambulance donated by the Ashland, Oregon Rotary Club transports patients, and an ultrasound machine was donated by the Durango, Colorado Rotary Club.

The impact has been significant. Before the Clinic opened, the mortality rate for babies under 1 year was 50%. Now it is 10%. Two of every 10 mothers had died during or soon after childbirth. Since its inception, the clinic has not lost a single mother.

While the clinic’s primary focus is the safe delivery of babies, including four antenatal visits per mother, it’s also the focal point for other basic medical needs for the community, such as treating high blood pressure, malaria, snake and dog bites, vaccinations, HIV testing, and family planning.

Last year Nsawo villagers and Rotarians from neighboring clubs determined a need for the clinic to provide more pediatric care. A Clayton Valley/Concord Sunrise club member paid for the construction of a building specifically designed for pediatric care Our club provided for the initial equipment and supplies needed to begin operation. In addition, the Durango Rotary Club helped provide solar power for the facility.

I have seen Deborah and Past Assistant Governor for District 9200, Herbert Muyinga, nearly every week for the last two years, as they have attended our club meetings by Zoom, sharing descriptions and photos of construction progress.

So even though I wasn’t in Nsawo on 31 March, I know our friendship will continue. I’m content knowing our Rotary Clubs’ relationship will continue to help the village and the clinic as it works to fulfill its mission to deliver affordable medical care to the mothers and children of the area.

To learn more about this project, visit www.nsaworccmedicalcenter.org.


22 thoughts on “International partnership helps establish maternity clinic in Uganda

  1. Thanks for appreciating , with great partnerships we can go a long way to make the world a better place.

    1. Wonderful Project
      Thank you so much for being an inspiring team and leading to a positive impact to the community of Nsawo Village.

  2. Amazing Project indeed, Those of us that visited the Project, we sincerely appreciate the work done by Rtn Deborah, Rtn Herbert and all the Rotary clubs and Friends that supported this great Project. On 31st of March,more than 100 Nsawo villagers were in attendance and am glad all of them received medication. As a Young Rotarian, am happy I witnessed the grand launch of the Pediatric clinic. The Project has improved the health of our People in Nsawo and I will Forever be thankful to the Rotarians that made it happen. Thanks alot and keep serving above Self.

  3. Well done. It’s wonderful to see great minds and generous hearts coming together to create such remarkable impact on the community. 👏
    One step at a time!

  4. Nsawo wouldn’t have been a better place without such a beautiful and a well equipped health facility…..we are indeed grateful,thanks rtn DK and Mr Muyinga for making this work, of course not forgetting all our Donors and Mr Kulubya

    1. Very impressive project. Thank you so much for sharing such an amazing opportunity in my home town village Nsawo. Let’s keep making the world a better place. Thank you once more

  5. Thank you very much for giving to the community Chairman Herbert Muyinga and the Rotary team . God Bless you more as Rotary gives hope to the less advantaged. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾

  6. Rotations, Deborah and Herbert, thank you so much for the support rendered to Nsawo. Mr Kulubya thank you for being the rock upon which such a renaissance Nsawo has experienced. Rotarians you have brought hope all over the world. God bless you all.

  7. It’s really an amazing project. I appreciate the work done by the Rotarians Mr. Herbert Muyinga ,Mrs.Deborah Luyima and the team to improve Child and maternal health in the people of Nsawo and neighboring villages.
    Thanks so much.

  8. Great work team Nsawo RCC Medical Centre. Kudos to the international & local partners for giving the Nsawo commuinity hope. To Rtns Dk & PP Herbert you have done well.

  9. What a splendid way to continuously give back to the Nsawo Community. Charity truly begins at home. Congratulations Rotary team. This is very inspiring!!

  10. Wonderful project. Kudos to Rtn Deborah, PAG Herbert, and all the partners both local and international. Thanks for your large hearts that are out to end the suffering of mothers and children. May God bless you abundantly.

  11. The nsawo RCC medical center is one of the best projects I have had the opportunity to be a part of as a Rotarian, because its formation has surely impacted the lives of the communities in ways that would never be fully imagined. Well done Rtn DK, PAG Muyinga and the entire team for the job well done.

  12. This is commendable. Service Above self! Special thanks to RC Muyenga and the Donors for the tremendous work well done for the Nsawo community.Well done PAG Muyinga Herbert and team.

  13. Health has and will always be a priority to mankind and establishing projects of this kind are some of the heroic acts of today’s world especially in this era of a covid pandemic. We can’t thank Rtn Deborah, Rtn Herbert & the entire team enough for extending a wide range of health services to the Nsawo community

    We are inspired! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  14. What a wonderful world Rotary is
    The Dreams realized as joining hands indeed exemplifies a fact that Mankind is our business

  15. Mothers in Nsawo village must be relieved, they don’t have to walk far to seek medical care for their babies. Thanks to the Clayton Valley/Concord Sunrise Rotary Club, Rtn. Deborah Luyima and Rtn. Herbert Muyinga for this great accomplishment. This is the true meaning of Service beyond Self.

  16. Very good job thank you for touching and changing lives for the people in Nsawo may the good Lord continue providing and giving you wisdom and knowledge.

  17. To Rtn Deborah Luyima and team, you could not have picked a better time to create true value and make a meaningful impact at the community level! As healthcare continues to get more complex with demand for more accessibility and affordability, partnerships and assorted affiliations like this one are pertinent and have begun to dot the landscape to shift the center of gravity. I am proud to be associated.

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