Rahab was confined and chained for more than 10 years in rural Uganda. With treatment provided by trained psychiatric staff supported by Jamie’s Fund, she is returning to a normal life. There are many more like Rahab.
Jamie’s Fund was established in 2013 in memory of Jamie Devaney who died aged four. To read Jamie’s story click here.
Our involvement in Uganda began with Kisiizi hospital in south west Uganda. Since then we have expanded significantly developing relationships with more hospitals and health centres. We have been working with Bwindi Community Hospital since 2013 and Kagando Hospital since 2016.
Uganda has relatively few psychiatric staff, and the majority work in the cities. The support we give to psychiatric staff working in the rural communities is particularly important.
In August 2018 we sponsored a successful mhGAP* training with the government psychiatric hospital in Kampala. The purpose of this training was to train psychiatric staff to teach other clinical staff about the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Following this course, we have been delighted that a number of courses for clinical staff from different departments in a number of hospitals and health centres have now received this training. As a result, more people with mental illness are being appropriately diagnosed and treated, and an awareness of psychiatric disorders is spreading.
In November 2018 we visited a further eight hospitals. At each hospital we met enthusiastic staff, many of whom had been on the Kampala course. They are committed to caring for people with mental illness and keen to reach out into their communities.
The work of the charity continued to expand in 2019, as we developed links with the other major non-Government provider of healthcare, the Uganda Catholic Medical Bureau, and found that they were prioritising mental health care as they realised it was a previously neglected aspect of their services.
So we are now working with a total of 27 hospitals and health centres across the east, west and central areas of the country. Bids are already coming in, seeking funding for staff training in mhGAP, community sensitisation and other service development needs, such as transport and communications to take services to where the people are.
We are excited by the potential of it all!
Do you want to make a difference! If you are a private organisation, business or individual and would consider funding one or more small mental health projects in Uganda then we want to hear from you. Please contact us.
(* mhGAP is a WHO course designed for non-specialist clinical staff, raising their level of awareness of mental disorders and developing basic skills in their management.)