Supporting Rutaka health centre in Kisoro

While visiting SIMG_2941W Uganda in 2017 Chris and Jon Foster visited Rutaka health centre, located in a remote mountainous area some 20km from Kisoro. The health centre is staffed by three nurses and a midwife who carry out immunisations, apply sterile dressings and care for the sick as well as delivering an average of 2-3 babies per week.  The wards and equipment are very basic, and with the only source of electricity being a few solar panels there was no lighting at night, as well as no running water inside and sometimes none from the outside tap.

HealthTree Uganda is working with the Diocese of Muhabura, who are responsible for the infrastructure at the health centre, to improve Nurse Ronafacilities there.  Our annual quiz night in 2017 raised nearly £900 for Rutaka, and following discussions with the Diocesan Health Officer we provided funding in April 2018 for the health centre to be connected to the grid so that it has electricity, and in addition we paid for two electric refrigerators for the safe storage of medicines and vaccines. Watch this space for updates!



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A new oxygen concentrator for Potter’s Village

Potter’s Village child crisis centre uses two oxygen concentrators to give oxygen to babies with breathing difficulties. Both of them had broken down, and were going to take 3 months to fix. This was not an option, as they are in use daily, so Potter’s Village’s doctor bought two new ones. HealthTree Uganda has paid for one at a cost of £995 (someone else has paid for the other), so now they can continue to give life-saving treatment to little ones. Thanks for your continued support that enables us to help out in this way at short notice!

PV oxygen concentrator

Supporting the Nutritional Rehabilitation Unit at Potter’s Village

To date HealthTree Uganda’s support for the Potter’s Village child crisis centre in Kisoro has focused on their Special Care Nursery for premature and sick newborn babies. We are now delighted to broaden our support to include the Nutritional Rehabilitation Unit (NRU) for malnourished children, and proceeds from our Quiz Night on 1 October will be used to provide equipment for the Unit.  The NRU inpatient ward has 10 beds, with an overflow room of 7 beds if required; and in addition some 70-80 children are seen on an outpatient basis. As well as providing nutritional care to children in the NRU, there is a programme to teach the mothers about hygiene, diet, how to grow, prepare and cook nutritious food, and how to interact and play with their children.
PV Nutrition Unit
A parenting training session at the Nutritional Rehabilitation Unit
Henry is the NRU nurse responsible for weekly follow-up visits to outpatients, and he is passionate about spreading information about malnutrition and how to prevent it. As the Unit’s catchment area is spread so far into the Mufumbiro mountains above Kisoro, Henry chooses a different direction each week and attempts to see as many outpatients in that area as possible.  He goes by boda boda (motorbike taxi) with a set of scales, tape measure and paperwork to chart the outpatients’ progress.  Henry takes the motorbike as far as possible, then walks uphill to the dwellings.  The volcanic mountains are very steep and rough, so to carry a set of scales as well is a challenge.  HealthTree Uganda are raising funds to buy a lightweight set of scales with its own backpack, which will make  it much easier for Henry to carry out his outpatient visits .
Once with a family, Henry not only assesses the progress of the child but also the home environment.  He inspects the toilet (if there is one), the cleanliness of the bedding and possessions, and the quantity and quality of food in the household.  Usually sanitation and hygiene are the major problems, and in the worst cases Henry will bribe the families with promises of food if they dig a toilet!
Back in Potters’ Henry (2)Village, Henry oversees the feeding regimes of the inpatient children who are fed every 2-3 hours, day and night.  He is also involved teaching the mothers, including doing cooking demonstrations for them; and it was Henry who came up with the idea of grinding dried silver fish into flour, which is a convenient way for families to take this high protein food back to the mountains.  “Henry is a wonderful addition to the team,” says Sue Hughes, Director of Potter’s Village, “and we are very blessed to have his energetic and positive attitude“.
You can find out more about the great work done by Potter’s Village at their website.

Fundraising Quiz Night – 1st October

Join HealthTree Uganda’s quiz night at 7.30 p.m. on Saturday 1st October at Chesham Town Hall!  Tickets only £12 – African-style food with chicken wraps provided, but please bring your own drink.  To book your place email, or call Clem on 01494 774719.  See our Quiz Night poster for further details.

This year all proceeds from our quiz night will be used to purchase equipment for the Nutritional Rehabilitation Unit at Potter’s Village child crisis centre in Kisoro.  Watch this space for more information about how we’re looking to help.

Last year’s quiz night was a great success, and we’re looking forward to an even better time this year – we look forward to your company!


Parish nurses donate medical equipment for Uganda

Chris Foster’s colleagues in Parish Nursing UK have proved in the past to be generous supporters of HealthTree Uganda, so it was no suprise that she returned from this month’s annual symposium with a car-load of medical equipment donated by a number of parish nurses.  Much of this equipment will be particularly suitable for the healthcare projects we support in Ntwetwe and Potter’s Village, and we look forward to getting it sent there at the earliest opportunity.  Thank you all for your generousity and commitment – many lives will be touched through your efforts!


Happy Christmas!

We wish all our supporters a very happy Christmas.  Together you have enabled us to provide medical equipment, support and funding throughout 2015 to our friends in healthcare projects in Kisoro, Katanga and Ntwetwe.  May 2016 be a year of hope and good health for you all.

HealthTree Uganda AGM: Monday 2nd November at 8.00 pm

All friends and supporters are warmly invited to our first AGM, which will be held at 8.00 pm on Monday 2nd November at the office of the King’s Church Chesham, Nashleigh Court, 188 Severalls Avenue, Chesham HP5 3EN.

HealthTree’s Director Chris Foster’s report on the year’s activities will include a presentation on her recent visit to Uganda. Other agenda items will include a financial report, and election of trustees for the year ahead.

Thank you as ever for your support, and we do hope you will be able to come.


Chris with Sister Annet at Ntwetwe Health Centre

Chris Foster’s trip to Uganda, August – September 2015

After a productive few days meeting with staff and holding training sessions at Potter’s Village child crisis centre in Kisoro, Chris has now made the long journey back to Kampala.  This morning she and Francis Nkurunziza, Director of Hope For Life Katanga, visited the offices of Revelation Life, another charity working in the slums of Kampala (and like HealthTree, with a UK base in Buckinghamshire).  It’s great to make contact with others working in the slums and sharing experiences.  Then it’s preparation time, planning teaching sessions for a busy week ahead.

HealthTree’s director Chris Foster is currently in Uganda for a 3 week trip, visiting the projects we support. At present she is at Potter’s Village child crisis centre in Kisoro, and is very impressed by the changes made since she was last there 2 years ago. One new feature is a Nutritional Rehabilitation Unit Unit, and on Wednesday she will be taking a training session with parents of the children on the Unit, as well as another training session with the carers of the babies at PV. Today she’s spending time with Rosie Brown, the nurse on the Special Care unit who is HealthTree’s main contact at PV.