How Do We Help Sponsored Children With Serious Heart Conditions?

There are nearly 6 million children worldwide with potentially treatable congenital and acquired heart defects that do not have access to care. In 2009, of the estimated 6,000 children in Uganda in need of cardiac intervention, only 172 received treatment (Uganda Heart Institute).

Alex was one of the statistics — a child with a heart problem with seemingly no hope for treatment. Alex’s father recalls:

“It started as a fever. My wife and I took my son, Alex, to the hospital, but it did not get any better. And when we took him to a bigger hospital, his symptoms baffled the doctors. They had no solution for us but to refer us to the Mulago Heart Institute where we started on a course of treatment.

“This went on for three years with no change. At that point I started to pray to God, saying if it is God’s will to take him away from us then so be it. I spoke to Alex as well and he was of the same mind. Because the doctors saw that I was poor they feared to tell me about the operation abroad because they knew I could not afford it.”

Like many children whose heart conditions go untreated, Alex and his family prepared for the worst. (more…)

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Inside Uganda With Dr. Yona Kapere

If you’ve been following our 15 Christian bloggers on their trip to Uganda you’ve seen only a glimpse of what it’s like to live in extreme poverty. It’s an outside view of Compassion’s ministry.

Today we present part three in a series of blog posts from staffers of Compassion Uganda who will give you an inside look into how Compassion’s ministry operates among the poorest of the poor.

Have you ever wondered who cares for the medical needs of children registered with Compassion? Especially those living in rural communities with no doctors or hospitals?

Each Compassion center has, as part of its staff, a health specialist. This person provides medical guidance for each child registered in the program and arranges for doctors’ visits, immunizations and preventive care.

Dr. Yona Kapere with a Compassion-assisted family

Dr. Yona Kapere is the Senior Health Specialist for Uganda. Here, he shares his role within Compassion and the success he has seen.

As a health specialist, I am involved mainly in equipping the church partner staff to ensure that the supported children choose good health practices and are physically healthy. We mainly achieve the above through networking with other existing service providers.

We use field reports and monitoring visits to identify disease trends, gaps and challenges at the implementation level, and support the field to make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable children.

The most energizing bit of my work is that I have the opportunity to witness the difference our interventions are making in the lives of children and caregivers.

During one of our project monitoring visits, we came across an adolescent who had given up on life because he was HIV-positive. But with the support from Compassion through the church partner, the life of this adolescent was restored and he is currently feeling much better because of the medicine we are able to provide for him.

He is attending school and educating his peers on HIV/AIDS.

This youth had this to say:

“I had given up on life because no one seemed to understand me, but with the support of the church staff I was taken through counseling, and I have hope that I will leave to complete my studies and become an engineer.”

To those who support us to implement these programs, thank you for restoring hope to the hopeless. Many are alive and will continue to live because of your support.

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