In an effort to spread awareness of Communication and Swallowing Difficulties (CSDs) to the local communities, Speech and Language Therapy Foundation Uganda (SLTFUG), partnered with the Mengo Community Based Healthcare Program under Mengo Hospital. Through this applaudable initiative, medical professionals from Mengo Hospital provide free health care services to the surrounding communities on a frequency of one clinic per fortnight. These health care services include antenatal care, family planning services, general medical checkups and distribution of prescribed drugs.
SLTFUG was privileged to actively participate in this program in the community of Kawaala Zone- Rubaga division, in a total of four clinics from September 2019 to October 2019, as well as represent at the annual Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) exhibition, under the Hospital category of Mengo Hospital in Kololo on the 26th of September 2019.
The role of SLTFUG in these clinics was; to assess the affected individuals and advise them accordingly, train and empower the caretakers with simple
strategies for continued care and support, address the people’s concerns, myths and beliefs that affect health seeking habits for CSDs, educate the people about the different CSDs that they might encounter and the role of Speech-language therapy in rehabilitating those conditions. The procedure for healthcare provided by SLTFUG in each clinic was as follows;
- The present community members were gathered into one large group and educated about Speech-language therapy as a healthcare service and the different communication and swallowing conditions it addresses.
- The community members were given an opportunity to share their questions and concerns and in turn SLTFUG addressed them.
- The talk was then followed up by assessment and training sessions for the affected individuals.
SLTFUG observed a steady increase in the number of people with CSDs who came to the clinic as a result of the awareness talks. SLTFUG’s participation in the above program was spearheaded and executed by Ms. Catherine Nakawunde, the team leader of SLTFUG. She was joined by two SLTs who were volunteers of the foundation at the time, Ms. Nagasha Cynthia and Ms. Deborah Amaro during the different clinics.
SLTFUG is indebted to the following individuals for their great contribution towards our participation;
- Sr. Emodu Margaret- Head In Charge of Mengo Community Based Health care Program
- Sr. Ssendagala- Deputy In charge of the Mengo Community Based Health care Program. She updated SLTFUG on the dates of the different clinics.
- Dr. Maxine Nahereza- He was the first medical officer who took keen interest in the difference that SLTFUG would make in the lives of the people in the community hence fostering our partnership.
- Dr. Jonathan Erabu- A medical officer who worked with SLTFUG
- Mr. Sserwaniko Wilberforce- He is the LC1 chairman of the Kawaala community in which the clinics were held. He hosted the community clinics at his home.
As compiled by,
Ms. Cynthia Nagasha,