August 2022 report: The impact of rising prices, and the story of a former patient.
I've been asked by several people about the impact on our work of rising prices. Costs of most things have risen substantially in Uganda - fuel, food, medical supplies - and this has been felt at Acheru. And those who support us here are having to face the impact of Covid and other world events. This must ultimately affect our income, and in the future we may have to react accordingly. We continue to do what we can to control costs in Uganda and get maximum value for all money spent but also must face the reality that any cutback in our spending at Acheru will impact on the quality of services and the number of children helped.
Every month Acheru must settle the CoRSU invoice for children we've referred there for surgery, and this comes from the monthly budget we transfer to Acheru. In one month recently the bill was much higher than anticipated - more operations than usual, and some complex procedures. We aren't charged anything like the full cost of the operations, many are free, others heavily subsidised, but this big bill presented a problem. Acheru decided to defer those children booked for surgery the following month to spread the cost, but my reaction was different. We are fortunate in having money in the bank here (usually all money we receive is kept towards the Acheru budget unless designated otherwise by the donor) and it did not seem right, having been given money to treat children, to be holding money back here and delaying treatment for children there. I have seen all too often the effects of any delay in treatment. Instead, I immediately contacted Joyce to say we would make up the balance of the CoRSU bill, and also that we would increase the Acheru budget to help meet the increasing expenses they faced. I wouldn't have done this had I not had full confidence in their financial management and the effectiveness of the work.
This is something we will continue to monitor.
NAMATTA SARAH 11 year old from LUWEERO district BAMUNANIKA village, came to ACHERU with a complaint of discharging wounds on the leg. There was medical intervention before coming to ACHERU but it did not work.
Sarah's parents are blessed with 10 children and she is the 8th born, peasant farming is the source of income in the family. Her mother says that the problem started as a swelling which eventually turned into a wound and this was about 1 year before coming to ACHERU.
Mother adds that "my daughter was fine during day but the situation changed when it came to evening. She started complaining of pain in the leg which I thought was not serious and I sent her to bed to relax thinking it was a result much playing and she was to be fine after waking up. It did not happen as I expected, she woke up in the middle of the night with a high temperature and a swollen leg. I was advised not to take her to the hospital because the problem is a result of witch craft. In our community we have a belief that people with such a kind of condition are not supposed to go to the hospital and get injected because this can result in death.
I was directed to a traditional healer who gave us some herbs to apply on the leg and others to drink. It took us 3 weeks for the leg reduce and then a wound came, we went to the hospital after one year of failing to treat the wound locally and that is where a nurse told us about Acheru. Thank you so much for the great care and love you have showed us.

Sarah before treatment
At ACHERU, Sarah was assessed, examined and diagnosed with chronic osteomyelitis of the right tibia and left foot. She was taken to CoRSU hospital for surgical intervention on 5/3/2020 and was scheduled for surgery which was done on 23/3/2020 and discharged back to ACHERU for post-operative care.
Again on 9/7/2020, Sarah was taken to CoRSU hospital and reviewed by the orthopaedic surgeon who booked for surgery (sequestrectomy and debridement of 2nd and 4th metatarsals bones) on 3/8/2020. Sarah was discharged from CoRSU hospital to ACHERU where she underwent post-operative care and physiotherapy.
Sarah was discharged but used to have relapses, so after review by the orthopaedic surgeon she was given antibiotics until she got better. She is now good, happy and with no complaint after healing well.
Sarah says "I had stopped going to school because of pain and no child wanted to come near me because of the smell, I am so happy that I can join school again like others. I want to study and become a teacher".

Sarah after treatment in March 2022

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