In April 2014, Child Family Health International (CFHI) welcomed our first Global Health Scholars to Kabale, Uganda to take part in two innovative new programs, Exploring HIV/AIDS & Maternal Child Health and Nutrition, Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture. This was a momentous occasion for CFHI, as it marked our expansion into East Africa and an exciting new partnership with Kigezi Healthcare Foundation (KIHEFO), a local nonprofit organization that addresses poverty, disease, and ignorance through an integrated approach and prides itself on the creation of an “Activated Community.”
Both programs have been a tremendous success in their first year, attracting students from various disciplines eager to learn about public health challenges in Uganda and socioeconomic factors that influence health. Here, learning opportunities are abundant. CFHI Global Health Scholars are welcomed into KIHEFO’s family of medical officers, nurses, social workers, counselors, and other team members who are the heart and soul of these programs. Through clinical rotations, rural outreach visits, and public health initiatives, CFHI Global Health Scholars learn about the prevention and treatment of malnutrition in children, gain an understanding of the importance of partnering with traditional healers, and explore methods of growing a diversity of foods closer to people’s homes.
In June 2014, CFHI Global Health Scholars assisted with a Nutrition & Women’s Health Survey in the rural community of Rubira in Southwestern Uganda. With the help of a translator, they interviewed over 70 families in an effort to gather information about health status. This important work helped CFHI’s local partner, KIHEFO, identify households struggling with malnutrition and infectious diseases. This experience proved to be a memorable learning opportunity for students like Amanda Gailey, who wrote, “This week has been very full and educational. I have enjoyed getting to know some of the people here and learning about their everyday circumstances. I feel like this is the best way to help others—by learning from them and trying to better understand their needs.”
In the past year, we’ve also seen tremendous growth in locally-led community health projects, like the Rabbit Breeding & Training Center. This center is implementing rabbits as a sustainable source of protein and income for rural families in the Kabale District. Since its inception, the project has grown from 120 rabbits to over 3,000 rabbits housed at 5 centers throughout Kabale District, the most recent opening in Kyanamira this past month. Recently, we also celebrated the opening of the Maternal & Child Hospital in Kabale-town, which will serve as a labor and delivery center and help decrease the burden on over-crowded public facilities.
We are grateful for our flourishing partnership with KIHEFO, who never cease to inspire us with their dedication and vision. We could not be more proud of all that we’ve accomplished together this past year and excited for the synergy that lies ahead.
Visit our website to learn more about CFHI’s Global Health Education Programs in Uganda.