Will i Manage this World?

•January 14, 2008 • Leave a Comment


Kwehangana Rodgers,
Senior Two, Kibito Secondary School, Kabarole District

The biggest problem in my life that i have ever got and even affected my life completely was the death of my parents. After they died, problems after problems continued to come up

Firstly I dropped out of school for one year thus reducing my thinking capacity. There was nobody to pay for my school fees. This was a big shock to me and moreso i had never expected it.

This forced me into doing hard labour. I used to do very heavy work like carrying heavy things, and also digging from morning to evening. On top of this, i rarely got food to eat. This was while i was staying with relatives.

However, i kept on praying to God sothat my relatives can be saved because i thought that is the only way i would be happy again.

One day, God answered my prayers and all the heavy suffering stopped. Even the mistreatment stopped. I started a new life with my relatives even though I had no parents.

Today, i am back to school. I even managed to buy a bicycle (see me with it in the picture) which i use to ride to school. Before i was always late for school and also came home to late and so could not dig my gardens but now i can because of my bicycle.
I also dig the land my father left for me hard to get money to pay for my school fees requirements. I also dig with my friends sothat we get more money.

The problem I am facing now is thoughts for sure – I don’t know why day and night I have to think about the past. I always think about how I was mistreated by my relatives. I always think about how my parents died and I again think about the diseases that killed them really will I manage this world?



•January 14, 2008 • Leave a Comment

 By Basaija Yasin



Where are you ending

AIDS you want to destroy our life

You have no cure

You have killed important people



Oh where are you ending

At Makerere, there is AIDS

In secondary school, there is AIDS

Both young and elders are suffering because os you



Orphan Children Continue To Struggle

•January 7, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Posted by Faridah Namutebi 

Next week I will be travelling back to Western Uganda to meet the ASGN members. As I prepare for my field trip, I wonder what new thing I should share with them. There are lots of write ups and brilliant ideas that have been exchanged during this Xmas break but I still opt to take one more look on the Internet and find an interesting article. I cant help but share it:  

According to the Women aid.org “Millions of children are being orphaned by poverty and war. Ethnic wars target children. Millions of children live their entire childhood in refugee camps. The number of orphans and vulnerable children continues to rise. Children are suffering from an orphan crisis that is depriving them of the chance for education and good health.”.  

Human Rights Watch has also published reports on orphan children. According to the HRW report, “Throughout the world, children suffered from inadequate food, housing, clothing, medical care, lack of stimulation or education, and neglect. In many countries orphans are considered as outcasts. Medical care for orphans is limited and basic medical supplies are scarce. Orphan children suffer a lifelong stigma”.  

UNICEF says orphaned and vulnerable children are more likely to be deprived of basic goods.

Orphan children need hope. We should try to give them the opportunity to survive, because the struggle for survival is still desperate and children continue to suffer and die. It is true, we should dedicate to lead our love to our orphan children. The meaning, depth, aim and dedication of love. It means we should mentally ready to make an agreement with help. We need to reach to our orphan children.  

A true story about an orphan, Anil Magar Anil was legally adopted by my friend Hira. Anil’s parents were killed in Nepal.

Anil seemed to be a boy of twelve or thirteen. My friend had serious complain against him. Her behavior was not good at any type of work. She always speaks in harsh way to him. She quarrels with Anil all the time. I have heard a thousand times with my own ear addressing bad language. What is his mistake ?  

I always love and spending time with Anil, like he’s my own brother. I always treated Anil equal to my brother. But my friend Hira tried to made an unpleasant comment on Anil.  

I always look out the window, the school children are returning home. It was 5 o’clock in the evening. The incident was beyond my imagination. I expected Anil in the crowd of school children. I found him in faces. I closed the shutters. Anil was coming to my house. He looked frightened at that time. Although he was the only reality he had comprehended. The condition made Anil extremely scared. He asks me,” Kamala sister, last night, your friend beat me up again. It was much worse. I hope your friend will love me”. 

No sooner had Anil expressed this than I felt as if I was falling from the roof. My friend Hira hasn’t come back from her work yet.  

“Anil brother, you talk only about your studies only.” I told him and I was overwhelmed with grief.  

Last year his elder brother also had also lost his life, who had gone to the town to work as a servant. All the days after that were almost vacant for Anil. Then on, his face becoming pale with poverty. There were problems in front of him. On the one side was a terrible poverty as he had no sources of income and on the other hand he had for the future to survive. At that time, my friend Hira, adopted him as a son from the village. But she treated him badly. 

I remained quite disturbed. From the moment I knew Anil, he has been quite serious. But this much is true that I have begun to help him. I was known as community worker in the village. The woman and children of our village respect me by heart.  

Anil has already completed his 4 class exams in so early age.  

Yesterday I had met Hira. The meeting could have been possible because I was coming from the office and walking the way through her office. I smiled and in response she too smiled a bit. I had no fear of anybody at that moment. I said, “Let’s go for a cup of tea.” She couldn’t say no to my invitation and so she began to walk with me. We entered into a restaurant close by. When sitting on a chair I said, “I want to know something about Anil”.  

She answered in a simple way, “About Anil, perhaps, it’s my weakness not to be able to give it a definite direction!” She asked me instantly, “But why have you given more importance to him?”  

I said, “I love children, especially orphan children”. I revealed it in one breath in such a way as if I had no time to explain other unrelated things. It appeared as if I was too busy. I requested, “I want to say one thing to you, will you agree to it?”  

At this moment, Hira’s face was really pitiable and frustrated.  

She said standing, ” I would be grateful if you could do me a favor of supporting Anil. I want to offer you this check for doing this for me.” There was a tremor in her voice and her hands were shaking. I did not take the envelop from her hand.  

“We get life for once. Life is mortal. It is God who has sent us to this earth.

He is responsible to guide us. He is supreme Lord who feeds us.’ I told my friend, while she was complaining about Anil.  

These days, Anil staying in my parents’ home. 

Is not our duty to help something to the orphan children? I believe one day that Anil will be like the sun. His influence will spread over the world. 

Nepali Journalist and Story Writer Kamala Sarup is an editor of peacejournalism.com

Ebola virus contained – Health Ministry

•January 7, 2008 • Leave a Comment

AFTER almost three months, ebola has been contained, health officials have said. The Director General of Health Services, Dr. Sam Zaramba, said in a statement: “the epidemic has been contained and there is hope that in the next few weeks it will be no more. There are no new deaths.”

He urged the public to be “compassionate, and support persons who have been discharged.” Zaramba said in bundibugyo, only six people were still admitted. Of these, two were new cases. He added that 131 people were infected since the epidemic was confirmed, of whom 35 died.

The Commissioner General of Health Services, Dr. Sam Okware applauded the commitment of health workers.

By Conan Busine
New Vision, Friday, 21st December 2007

Ebola: Mbarara, Fort Portal put on Alert

•December 9, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Ebola in Fortportal

New Vision, Friday 30th November 2007
Reported by Anne Mugisa, John Thawite, Matthias Mugisha & Bizimungu Kisakye

SIX more people have been confirmed infected with the deadly Ebola virus, health officials said yesterday. This puts the number of infected people at 58, sixteen of whom have died since the outbreak of the deadly disease in August.

The Commissioner for Health Services in the health ministry, Dr. Sam Okware, said the six new cases were admitted at Bundibugyo Hospital after they attended the burial of an Ebola victim. Another two suspected cases were yesterday reported in Fort Portal.

A 13-year-old school boy came from Kyenjojo district with the mother yesterday morning and was admitted to Virika hospital, according to the Kabarole district director of medical services, Dr. Joa Okech. The boy, who was only identified as Katusabe, was temporarily admitted to Virika, where he was resuscitated and transferred to Buhinga Hospital. At Virika, the outpatient room was turned into an emergency ward to accommodate the boy. When the New Vision visited the ward, the door to the room bore a warning: “Do not enter unprotected”.
The second patient, a woman, also reported to Virika late afternoon, but she was sent to Buhinga hospital, according Dr. Musa Walakira, who is handling the cases. The woman’s identity could not be readily established.
“She was vomiting blood when she went to Virika, so they suspected Ebola and sent her to Buhinga Government Referral Hospital where an isolation centre has been set up.
Another suspected patient bled to death in Mbarara yesterday, Dr. Okware said.
He said ministry of health officials picked blood samples for testing. He said he had also instructed a quick burial of the body.
Meanwhile, the head of Nyahuka Health Centre 4 in Bundibugyo district, Dr. Richard Ssesanga Kaddu, his deputy Jonah Kule and two medical officers have been isolated after they complained that they felt unwell.

Okware, explained that Ssesanga was isolated at his home in Bundibugyo, while Kule who had traveled to Kampala, was put in the ministry’s isolation facility in the city.

He could not say whether Ssesanga, Kule, Kisughu, an enrolled nurse and Amon Kule, an ophthalmic officer, were infected with Ebola.

“We have taken specimen from them and it will be sometime before we can tell,” he said, before adding that the medical officers were improving steadily.
He lamented that there was a shortage of medical personnel in Bundibugyo, affecting the out-patients department most. “We need additional personnel to run the hospitals.”

Dr. Scot, a missionary, now heads the case management unit, while the two isolation units have each got seven personnel.

In Fort Portal, a district task force has been set up comprising the top district officials, medical personnel and some NGOs to handle the Ebola emergency.
In addition, two isolation centres have been set up, one at Buhinga in Fort-Portal town, the other at Bukuku, about 10km on Fort-Portal Bundibugyo road.

The RDC, Kakonge Kambarage, said they suspected that there could be more infected people who are still in the incubation period.

An official from the US Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta is set to collect samples from the patients in Fort-Portal today for testing.

The Minister of Defence, Dr. Crispus Kiyonga is also in Fort-Portal and Kasese to sensitise the population about the virus.

Kiyonga on Saturday asked local leaders to start public awareness campaigns.
“Once infected with Ebola, chances of survival are 50%,” the former health minister told sub-county and town council leaders at Virina Gardens in Kasese town.

He advised that Ebola victims be buried in fluid-proof bags soon after they die. He asked the public to look out for such symptoms as headache, high fever, a rash, red eyes, bleeding, diarrhoea and vomiting.

Participants expressed fear that the virus could be incubating in Kasese and Kabarole among people who have been going Bundibugyo to bury their relatives since the disease outbreak in August.

Meanwhile, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has given sh45m to Bundibugyo district to fight the disease, the chief administrative officer, Elias Byamungu, said on Saturday. Byamungu said other agencies, including Oxfam, had agreed to offer more support.

Uganda was last hit by an Ebola epidemic in 2000, when 425 people caught it and just over half of them died, including Dr. Mathew Lukwiya. An outbreak in neighbouring Congo this year infected up to 264 people, killing 187.


Ebola and the Community Development Worker

•December 9, 2007 • Leave a Comment

By Namutebi Faridah 

Community Development work is one of the most self addictive jobs. This is because it is a job one has to do, not out of mandatory or circumstantial measures but out of love for the profession. In the process, this increases the chances of one overworking oneself because you just go on and on and on. It’s a habit. Look at it similarly to love for movies or even football. 

When other job types present different challenges and obstacles, and sometimes the pressure is hard to handle, often postponing the task, with community work, it is perceived as a challenge to be addressed before you leave the field. In the process, subconsciously, community workers feel overwhelmed and end up getting stressed.  

Stress is a common occurrence for community workers, with common symptoms being headache, tiredness and fatigue. Now we have Ebola! The question I would pose at this moment is how will community workers protect themselves from this highly infectious disease? 

During out course of work, we mingle with the community. “Touch” and “close interaction” are inevitable. Among the common causes of Ebola is through direct physical contact with body fluids like blood, saliva, stool, vomit, urine, sweat of an infected person. Also, splashing of body fluids from an infected person into another’s eyes, through using skin piercing instruments that have been used by an infected person, contact with persons who have died of Ebola or from eating dead animals especially monkeys that have died of Ebola.  

Community workers, among other professions are at a high risk of exposure. This is because culturally, we either hug or shake hands as a greeting gesture. We also hold lots of face to face conversations. In the process, there are high chances of exchange of saliva and/or sweat.  

Now Ebola is here!! … and is spreading relatively fast to other districts in Uganda. On November 30, 2007, the Uganda Ministry of Health confirmed an outbreak of Ebola in the Bundibugyo District. After confirmation of samples tested by the United States National Reference Laboratories and the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization has confirmed the presence of a new species of the Ebola virus. This is the second time this disease has struck in Uganda, with the first time in October 2000, striking in northern parts of the country.  

The Wikipedia describes Ebola as the common term for a group of viruses belonging to genus Ebolavirus, family Filoviridae, and for the disease which they cause, Ebola hemorrhagic fever. The viruses are characterized by a long, filamentous morphology surrounded by a lipid viral envelope. Ebola viruses are morphologically similar to the Marburg virus, also in the family Filoviridae, and share similar disease symptoms.  

Ebola symptoms are varied and often appear suddenly. Initial symptoms include high fever (at least 38.8°C; 101.8°F), severe headache, muscle, joint, or abdominal pain, severe weakness and exhaustion, sore throat, nausea, and dizziness. Before an outbreak is suspected, these early symptoms are easily mistaken for malaria, typhoid fever, dysentery, influenza, or various bacterial infections, which are all far more common and less reliably fatal. These are common ailments for the community workers, stress inclusive.Other Ebola symptoms are diarrhea, measles like rash, red eyes and bleeding from body openings.

Vaccines have been produced for both Ebola that were 100% effective in protecting a group of monkeys from the disease. Early human vaccine efforts have so far not reported any successes. The biggest problem with the vaccine is that unless the patient is given it near the onset of the virus (1-4 days after the symptoms begin) then there will be too much damage to the human body to repair, i.e.: ruptured arteries and capillaries, vomiting, and other symptoms which may still cause enough harm to kill or seriously traumatize the patient.  

Ebola is very infectious and kills in a short time. Even if it can be prevented, it becomes rude to refuse to culturally greet or relate with the community in covered gear.


Malnourished Orphan Children & Iron Deficiency Anemia

•December 5, 2007 • Leave a Comment

By: George Rogu M.D.

Do malnourished internationally adopted children suffer from Iron deficiency anemia? Could this be a probable cause of the child’s developmental delay? What do I as an adoptive parent need to be aware of?

It is a well-known fact that all children need a well balanced diet in order to assure a healthy physical and cognitive development. Children that live in orphanages unfortunately suffer from malnutrition and environmental deprivation of varying degrees, depending on the country of origin. These combined deficiencies can lead to serious vitamin deficiencies can lead to serious, but easily reversible medical complications if they are recognized in a timely fashion.

Iron deficiency Anemia: is by far the most common deficiency found in the many of the internationally adopted children that I evaluate. Iron is essential for the normal brain growth, production of hormones, and energy metabolism. Children with this deficiency are at risk for suffering from severe anemia and developmental delays.

There are various reason why an institutionalized child is at risk for this deficiency.
a) Lack of maternal prenatal care
b) Poor maternal health, most of these mothers are anemic themselves
c) No prenatal vitamin’s
d) Low birth weight of infant
e) Prolonged bottle-feeding with formula that is not fortified with iron.
f) Use of tea in diet, which has an ingredient that inhibits iron absorption by the body.
g) Intestinal parasitic infections causing microscopic blood loss.
h) Concurrent lead poisoning.

Normal term infants are born with enough iron stores to prevent deficiencies for the first 4 months of their lives. After four months, enough iron needs to to be absorbed through their diet, of therapeutic supplementation in order to keep up with their rapid growth and development. The most common age for iron deficiency is between 6 months and 24 months. Earlier deficiency generally occurs if there was a decrease in the iron stores secondary to prematurity, small birth weight, neonatal anemia. Older children need to be evaluated for blood loss.
There is significant evidence clinically that clearly indicates, that Iron deficiency in addition to causing anemia, additionally has some influences on behavior and cognitive development, that if left untreated can persist into later childhood.

Clinical signs of Iron deficiency Anemia: The signs and symptoms can vary with the severity of the deficiency.

1) Mild anemia: is generally asymptomatic which means without any signs of symptoms.
2) Moderate Anemia: tiredness and exhaustion, irritability, pale skin delay in motor development.
3) Severe Anemia: with complete depletion of iron stores, nail deformities, glositis, heart failure.
Most children that arrive at the U.S.A. are of the mild to moderate anemia category. During the Post-Arrival medical evaluation, a routine complete blood counts or “CBC: is performed. This test is used as a screening tool to see if a child has a low hemoglobin or hematocrit, which would indicate iron deficiency. While this is an excellent screening tool, unfortunately, these laboratory abnormalities appear commonly after there is already a depletion of the body’s iron stores. A more accurate laboratory test would discover the deficiency earlier be “Iron studies: Serum ferritin, iron levels, iron binding capacity and transferring levels” These are diagnostic tests and not screening tools. Children that are internationally adopted should all be considered high risk for being iron deficient. This diagnosis should be confirmed or dismissed with the iron studies. We should not wait for the child to become anemic. A proactive attitude needs to be taken.

Therapy for Iron deficiency is very easy to implement. A nutritious well balanced diet is mandatory. Children will benefit from iron fortified cereals, formula and foods. Some iron rich foods are ( beans, peas, spinach, and meats). While many parents feel that milk is healthy for the growing child, excessive amounts of milk are a major cause of iron deficiency anemia even here in the U.S.A. Milk should be limited to only 19 oz per day during the second year of life. Supplemental multi vitamins fortified with iron or even therapeutic doses of iron may be necessary to treat the internationally adopted child.

By Dr. George Rogu of http://www.adoptiondoctor.com

Additional information and references:

1) Miller, L. (2004). The Handbook of International Adoption Medicine: A Guide for Physicians, Parents, and Providers. Oxford University Press, Cary, NC

2)William W. Hay M.D. Current Pediatric Diagnosis and Treatment. McGraw-Hill Medical Publishing.

Article Source: http://www.adoptiondoctors.com/articles