News from our Partners on the Covid-19 Emergency Support - KCDC

As the world comes to terms with the Covid-19 pandemic, our partners are working hard to support their communities through these extremely tough times.  We had this lovely report this week from Kyaninga Child Development Centre (KCDC).  The support they are able to give as a result of their 'Buckets of Love' campaign is truly lifesaving for the most vulnerable and at-risk children with disabilities that they support in western Uganda.

This is how they have helped their families so far.

"In mid-March 2020, in response to the Covid-19 global pandemic, the Ugandan Government introduced a set of strict measures to prevent the transmission of the virus in Uganda as the healthcare system would be unable to cope with the high numbers of cases seen in other countries, with only 135 intensive care beds and 104 working ventilators in the country. These measures include:

- All schools, universities and colleges closed
- All non-food markets and businesses closed
- All passenger flights into and out of the country suspended
- All land borders closed except for cargo trucks
- All public and private transport suspended
- All church and other public gatherings suspended

These restrictions are ongoing and have severely impacted people's livelihoods, many of whom survive on a meagre daily income of less than $1 a day and with rising costs of food and an inability to earn, families have had to reduce the amount of food they were consuming, leading to an increased risk of malnutrition.   The objectives of our 'Buckets of Love' campaign has been to:

- Improve the nutritional status of 100 children with disabilities who already have malnutrition
- Prevention of malnutrition for 150 of the most vulnerable children with disabilities
- Provide ongoing therapy and education plans for 250 children, as well as providing Covid-19 information

Since the 6th April 2020, KCDC staff from both the Kabarole and Kasese clinics have been conducting home visits to the most vulnerable families, delivering buckets of food, therapy programmes and educational materials.  They have reached a total of 323 families who are all extremely grateful to be thought of during this time and were really struggling to survive. We found 82 children  who had severe malnutrition that required additional food and 4 that required hospital admission for management of their condition.  Fortunately, all four of these children are putting on weight and can now be manged at home, with additional support from us.

If the lock down and restrictions are extended again next week, which we fully expect to happen due to the slow rise of cases within the country, we have identified a further 117 families that will require nutritional support and therapy programmes, as well as revisiting some of the 323 families from phase 1.

Severe flooding in Kasese district last week, when three rivers burst their banks, caused four of our families to lose their homes and possessions, and so we have also provided mattresses and cooking utensils to these families in addition to food for the whole family. The impact of further flooding yesterday in a different area of Kasese district is being evaluated today for support needs. 

One of the most striking impacts of what a small donation can do, is that of Jackline, who has developmental delay and is seen by our occupational therapists and speech therapists. She was never a concern to us before regarding malnutrition, therapy was generally focused on functional independence and communication.  When we visited Jackline and her grandmother, we found that they were really struggling, surviving on 1 meal a day, along with 2 other children that had been sent to stay with them during the lock down. Because grandmother is caring for all the children alone, it wasn't possible to admit Jackline to the nutrition ward at the hospital, so she was sent back home with therapeutic feeds and additional foods from KCDC.

We have been monitoring her progress with regular visits to the house and have been delighted to see her doing so well, gaining weight quickly and returning to her usual energetic and cheeky self!"

The work that this amazing charity is doing, is truly saving lives.  To find out more visit www.kyaningacdc.org

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