1. PREVENTION. We strive to prevent disease whenever possible, as we wholeheartedly believe that prevention is preferable to cure.
In an effort toward this core value, Engeye Health Clinic has established a partnership with the Ministry of Health and administers vaccinations. This is significant as less than half of Ugandan children age 12 to 23 months are fully immunized. In comparison to neighboring countries, Ugandan children are much less likely to be fully immunized (46 percent) – Kenya (57 percent), Rwanda (75 percent), and Tanzania (71 percent).1
We practice according to the WHO guidelines and perform deworming every 6 months on all children who visit the clinic older than one year to prevent soil-transmitted helminth infections — roundworms, whipworms and hookworms. These worms devastate communities by worsening anemia and iron deficiency and causing protein malnutrition, all significant problems in pregnant women and developing children, as children’s growth and physical development is halted and cognitive development impaired. Whether an adult or child, the ramifications of prolonged helminth infections cause one to be malnourished and ill, reducing an individual’s ability to make meaningful contributions to society.
2. RESPECT. No matter what defines ones financial, community, gender or sexuality status, we firmly believe that all people working with Engeye deserve equal respect, love and care.
We do not discriminate in any way in regards to hiring staff, treating patients or accepting volunteers. We uphold all staff and volunteers to these standards.
3. PRIMARY HEALTH CARE. The medical needs in Uganda are tremendous. At this time, we believe primary care and its associated facets such as mental health, prenatal care, dentistry and preventive medicine, to be the most needed, integral aspects of medicine in the country.
Communicable diseases are still prevalent, but there is an increasing incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and mental illness, as well as medical conditions resulting from trauma and accidents.1
We refer for secondary and tertiary care when possible, but focus our efforts on the wide breadth of care involved with primary needs. This is in accordance with the Primary Health Care (PHC) Strategy adopted in Uganda since 1978 as the main approach of service delivery.
4. COLLABORATION. We believe that it is our moral and ethical duty to share what we have learned since our inception with other health organizations or related groups if there is any hope that working together will improve the health of the nation.
We have no secrets or hidden agendas and we are eager to share any and all successful efforts.
Additionally, we understand the profound importance of collaborating and partnering with existing organizations and working with each other to raise community standards. Without the local partnership, we would be even more dependent on outside resources, taking us further from our goal of sustainability and self-sufficiency.
5. NO FREE HANDOUTS. Undoubtedly a controversial and heated topic with conflicting evidence, at this time we take the approach that very few services or goods are free. We firmly believe that Africa does not need handouts or charity, rather, we envision a strong future through partnership and advocacy.
While we only charge 4,000 Ugandan schillings per visit on average (an equivalent of $2 USD), this supplies approximately half the cost to fund the clinic every month. In an effort to foster independence, in the end, we don’t believe that free care or goods will enable growth and autonomy. Additionally, when one purchases their prescription, we believe they value it more and are less likely to share it with another or sell it. That being said, there are always exceptions. When one cannot afford our nominal fee, which is far lower than any other nearby clinic, we offer a sliding scale, sometimes meaning there is no charge. All contraception and vaccinations are also offered free of charge.
6. PARTNERSHIP. We all need assistance in one regard or another from others at various points throughout our lives. This is not a sign of weakness, but a fact of life.
The people of Ddegeya and its surrounding communities are strong individuals that through no fault of their own require assistance meeting their health care needs. In everything we do, we keep the strength of those we serve in mind and understand that our role is to further empower them in their ability to meet these health care needs in a manner that will ultimately be sustainable with little to no outside assistance. At Engeye we work with the people of Ddegeya and the surrounding communities, hand-in-hand as equals, to help develop the necessary resources to meet their health care needs. Indeed, as every one of us working with Engeye has experienced, not only does our work help further empower the people of Ddegeya, but they continually empower us and enrich our lives in countless ways as well.