This academic year, University College will be supporting ‘Friends of Kumi Hospital’, a charity located in Eastern Uganda, in memory of the late Eva Schumacher-Reid. Eva was passionate about the work carried out in Kumi, as the founder of the charity Frances was a close friend of hers.
Starting Friends of Kumi Hospital (FKH) was my way of continuing my support and work for Kumi Hospital, when I returned to the UK after working there as a voluntary physiotherapist for 6 months in 2007. The aim of the charity remains to provide financial and professional aid for the hospital, to enable it to provide a quality health service to its population, in a sustainable manner.
Since its inception in 2008, the charity has successfully completed a number of projects, including building a shelter for patients’ families, after it was identified that their crowding on the wards was increasing the risk of wound infections in the surgical patients. We have more recently been focused on the training of staff and increasing incentives for staff to work at the hospital, and have paid for the full training of 3 nurses and provided school fees grants for 64 of the lower paid staff’s children.
Currently we are putting together plans to fund raise for a Nursing and Midwifery school to be built at the hospital to address the skill gap that exists in this area of the country, which should also play a crucial role of providing a form of sustainable income for the hospital, which currently relies on aid and patient fees alone.
At FKH we pride ourselves on our low running costs, which allows at least 95% of money raised to go straight to the projects in Kumi. We also work closely with the hospital management to ensure that our projects support their vision, rather than imposing our beliefs on them, something we couldn’t do without the assistance of our Ugandan Trustees.
As a small charity we appreciate every penny given and do our best to ensure that it goes towards changing the life of as many people as possible, through the hard work of the staff of Kumi Hospital.