Case Study - Sue Thompson
A Health Visitor whose role is to prevent illness and promote
good health in Manchester has recently returned from spreading the
same message in Uganda. Sue Thompson, who is based at Burnage
Health Centre, has links with Calvary Chapel Kampala through her
local church. Through there, Sue, from Wilmslow, was able to carry
out some public health work over a 16-day period.
The street boys in
Kampala are mostly teenagers living in the slums. An outreach
scheme through the Calvary Chapel enabled additional support to be
given to the young people. Sue's work included working with a
team called 'Frontline', who befriend and support these young
people. Her first workshop involved talking to 68 boys about tooth
brushing and dental health. She also gave out toothbrushes and
Sue said: "The boys were very receptive and pleased to have a
toothbrush of their own. When I talked to some of the boys
individually, it became evident that their fluid intake was lacking
significantly, some boys only having half a litre per day. In
Africa this is much too little, as they need at least two litres
per day. Some of the boys only had one meal a day, or some
only on alternate days."
She also visited the slums where they live which
are by contaminated water. They are overcrowded tin dwellings
barely 8ft by 8 ft with a tin roof. Health concerns include
general hygiene, head and body lice, scabies. Contaminated
water issues lead to many health issues including stomach upsets,
and problems with wound care and healing. Provision of clean
water to drink and nutritious food on a regular basis is a constant
concern for these boys.
Two days were spent visiting the abandoned babies' home in
Kampala, and resources such as current health information, toys and
stimulating activities were given to the home. Some of the
children were ill with health conditions including HIV/AIDS,
malaria and malnutrition.
She said: "The infants and children were well loved and
regularly fed. Some beautiful patchworks and wall hangings covered
the walls. Nets to prevent malaria were above each cot/bunk
also attended a workshop with eight members of the Frontline team.
They discussed the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global
Development Goals 2015 and what has been achieved.
Sue said: "The experience was very worthwhile, I learnt a great
deal about the difficulties people face on a daily basis. It
just brings home how incredibly fortunate we are to live in an
environment where we can be free from the threats of harm, and can
live without an armed guard by our homes and that we can drink
water freely from taps that work"