We’ve selected a few case studies from grants we’ve made over the years to illustrate a selection of our interests and areas of engagement.
More detail can also be found in the annual Newsletters.
MEDICAL SCHOOL FOR DOCTOR AMON IN WESTERN UGANDA
Over the years, the Trust has supported Dr Amon Bwambale following Dr Dom Moor’s visit to a remote region of Uganda on the Congolese border, called Bundibugyo. Here he found 2 doctors for a population of about 200,000 but after a severe Ebola outbreak, only one remained. When Dom first met Amon, he was a highly promising medical assistant who was very keen to train as a medic and return to the region to work as a doctor. The Trust was delighted to be able to support his medical training over 5 years with the proviso that he return to work in Bundibugyo once he graduated, thereby increasing the doctor tally by 100 percent. Amon graduated from Kampala International University in 2013, (having concluded his studies 6 months early because of his experience as a medical orderly) and is now living and working in Bundibugyo, having also completed an internship in Mulago Referral Hospital.
We continue to get reports from Amon now he is back in Bundibugyo, and he’s recently been assigned by the district local government to be a medical superintendent of the general hospital and so is now managing the clinical services in the hospital as well as his medical duties. We have also committed to funding Amon’s Masters In Public Health, training him not only in health system management but also epidemiology. Amon is attending a weekend programme to ensure he has time to still do his clinical work in the hospital.
MEDICAL SCHOOL FOR CLINICAL OFFICER IN WESTERN UGANDA
Our experience funding Dr Amon through his medical degree to return to his home town was such a successful one, it inspired us to search for another enthusiastic healthcare worker hoping to become a doctor.
Through Lou, a contact at the Trust, we found Moses Byomuhangi a clinical officer in Kamwenge District doing his rounds on a push bike with a special interest in good palliative care in rural areas. He had previously pursued funds to go to medical school to become a doctor but without success. The Trust is now funding Moses's medical degree at Kampala University, which began in the summer of 2016. He is progressing well and as with Amon, we expect him to become a doctor in a rural and underserved part of the country.
ADVANCED TRAUMA CARE TRAINING FOR MEDICAL STUDENTS AND RURAL HOSPITAL CLINICIANS IN UGANDA
For many years the Trust has been working with Global Partners in Anaesthetics and Surgery (GPAS) to provide funding for the delivery of an Advanced Trauma Care Training Programme to all intern doctors rotating through Surgery at Mulago Hospital in Kampala. The programme teaches students vital lifesaving skills for when they are presented with an injured patient – a crucial skill for all doctors especially when (as is often the case) the interns go on to work in rural hospitals where they are the only doctor on site.
We have also continued to support GPAS to run specialist paediatric surgery outreach programmes in rural areas in Uganda, over a multi-year period. The Trust contributes funds to enable a team of surgeons and theatre staff to travel to remote hospitals around the country to provide valuable hands on experience and train local clinicians in specialist surgical skills. We hope in the future to establish the advanced trauma care training course in hospitals upcountry as we have done in Kampala.
IMPLEMENTATION OF EMERGENCY PAEDIATRIC TRIAGE PROTOCOL IN UGANDA
Since 2010 we’ve worked with the Kenyan Paediatric Association to provide ETAT+ (Emergency Triage Assessment Treatment Plus admission care for sick children in resource-limited countries) training in Kampala. We supported the initial launch of the course into Uganda at Mulago Hospital and Makerere University and were fortunate enough to be able to witness – at a later visit - the extensive changes that have been made in the paediatric wards in Mulago complying with the best practice approach to managing severe paediatric emergencies that the training promotes. We understand that other larger donors (such as the UK’s Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health) are now involved in expanding the course nationwide. This is a great example of what we feel the Trust can achieve by offering a modest amount of seed funding - allowing beneficiaries to evidence need or the impact of change - which can then be taken on by larger donors able to provide bigger and longer funding commitments.
Most recently we have agreed to support three years of ETAT+ training at Gulu Referral Hospital (approx. 28 students per year) which serves several Northern districts of the country as well as the Medical School at Gulu University. We expect this new training to be incorporated into the medical school syllabus for new doctors (as occurred at Makerere University Medical School when we first funded ETAT+ in Kampala) with buy-in from the host institution.
UNIVERSITY AND A-LEVEL BURSARIES FOR STUDENTS IN UGANDA
Since 2009 the Trust has been providing support to Promoting Equality in African Schools (PEAS) who reach some of the poorest students across rural Uganda with 40% of students coming from families living on less than the extreme poverty line of $1.25 per day. The majority are the first in their families to go to school. The Trust has funded the Laura Case Trust Bursary Scheme enabling students to attend university, increasing their chances of moving themselves and their families out of poverty. The Trust covers all university fees as well as a living allowance enabling students to remain at university without having to take breaks to gain paid employment. There are currently 10 students enrolled in the scheme.
We have also recently included an A-level bursary (13 students currently enrolled) providing an opportunity for bright and able students who would not otherwise be able to afford it, to pursue their A-levels.
PROVIDING ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT IN THE UK – LUKE’S WHEELCHAIR
Although the Trust has focused its healthcare efforts most often in Africa, one of our earliest and most meaningful grants was to purchase a new wheelchair for (then) teenager Luke in Sussex. He had rapidly outgrown his previous wheelchair but the NHS was not able to fund a new one for another year. The result was that Luke was being wheeled around in an armchair on wheels. Not only was this difficult for his mum, but it lacked the spinal support and structure of a medical wheelchair. His lack of mobility was making it hard for him to attend school. The Trust was delighted to be able to purchase a new chair for Luke, enabling great improvements to his posture, health and school attendance. Mum Jane told us that the new chair had improved his quality of life and that Luke no longer needed a restricting body brace as the new chair incorporated all the support he needs, “the chair is a little miracle for Luke and has changed his life around.”
MEDICAL ELECTIVE TRAVEL BURSARIES FOR JESUS COLLEGE STUDENTS
Laura received a travel bursary from Cambridge University to help fund her clinical elective in Uganda. Now, the Trust has provided an endowment to Jesus College to fund in perpetuity, up to four travel bursaries each year for medical students undertaking medical electives in developing countries. One will be awarded based on academic merit to a student wishing to undertake their elective in Africa, which will be known as The Laura Case Prize. The remainder will be known as the Laura Case Travel Bursaries and will be awarded to students who would not otherwise be able to afford such travel with a preference given to those travelling to Africa, and a strong preference to those visiting Uganda. We hope this permanent link with Jesus College, established in Laura’s memory, will enable countless medical students the opportunity to spend their fifth year electives in developing countries in Africa and further afield.
SUPPORTING EXCELLENCE IN OBSTETRICS & MATERNAL HEALTH IN UGANDA
The Trust provided funding towards the delivery of 10 Excellence in Obstetric Skills courses - a project in Uganda, created and delivered by the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, aiming to reduce maternal and child death and disability by providing emergency skills training in the form of a series of short, multidisciplinary and interactive courses for health workers involved in maternity care (at hospitals and health centres) in the Masaka and Rakai districts of South Uganda. 300 health workers attended over the 10 sessions and further funding was obtained from THET; 11 trainees became ‘master trainers’ too in the hope that the courses can become locally sustainable.
SUPPORTING PILOT SCHEME AIDING THE MANAGEMENT OF CYSTIC FIBROSIS IN CHILDREN
The Trust worked with the Cystic Fibrosis Trust to partly fund a pilot study based around the remote monitoring of children. The trial sought to determine whether using wearable health sensors and Bluetooth smart phone technology is feasible and can enable early detection of exacerbations of the condition and treatment failure, prior to patient-reported symptoms. Lasting over 10 months and working with 66 treatment centres the long-term goal is to enhance delivery of care through minimising the treatment burden to patients, improving infection and control measures and reducing overall costs to the healthcare system.
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR DISADVANTAGED GIRLS IN SIERRA LEONE
Via a collaboration with Rising Academies the Trust supported a scholarship programme for disadvantaged young women over four academic years. By the end of our collaboration we will have funded 60 scholarships and supported an organisation dedicated to making education more accessible to more disadvantaged families.