We met IDEA Onlus. IDEA stands for Italian Doctors for Emerging Africa.
They told us that the Association was established on August, 13th, 2009, after several journeys to Matany hospitals in Karamoja, in North-east of Uganda, by some Italian doctors and nurses of Turin and Asti.
As the local community made some health intervention requests, they decide to constitute themselves as a Voluntary Association, in order to identify the infections problems in the hospital.
St. Kizito Hospital of Matany is placed in the poorest area of Uganda, where most of the population lives in huts. The hospital was founded in the 70s by Comboni Fathers, currently having about 300 beds.
IDEA Onlus activities concern, mainly, working side by side with local doctors and nurses in tuberculosis Department and in the clinic for HIV/AIDS patients.
Tuberculosis and AIDS, together with malaria, are the most widespread diseases in Africa; tuberculosis is also seen as a dangerous disease that can be easily transmitted and this is why just a few local doctors want to deal with it.
At the beginning, an Italian medical team went to Uganda to work with Ugandan doctors and nurses which, once trained, should have been able to succeed as managers. The goal is to make autonomous the natives living there.
In march 2013, an Ugandan doctor became head of the Department for patients with tuberculosis leaving now to IDEA Onlus a monitoring and training role.
In the clinic for HIV/AIDS there is still an active support to local doctors and nurses with which a workgroup has been created. With this aim, training courses have been financed, including a one month course in Kampala for a local doctor who later became head of that surgery.
In October 2010 they gave the hospital a lab equipment (CD4 counter) that allows you to keep under observation through time patients suffering from HIV/AIDS, which are currently about 1.000.
Always in laboratory sector, IDEA grants the purchasing, every year, of the laboratory reagents useful for the functioning of the machineries for the implementation of basic blood tests.
Other IDEA Onlus projects are:
Akorò is a word in Karimojong langange which means hunger. The project, launched in 2011 as a result of the famine and drought that struck the area, wants to ensure to all malnourished patients going to Matany hospital an additional protein meal. There are about 25,000 meals per year financed by Akorò project.
The project cosists in the financing of analysis, in a private laboratory near Matany, of all tissue samples taken and for which we need a rapid and reliable response.
Project “entertainers of Africa”
This is a non-health project launched in 2011, in collaboration with the local parish run by the Comboni Fathers. It is a project aimed at children and adolescents, consisting of entertainment activities by the Italian volunteers who serve, in turn, as trainers of local entertainers.
IDEA Onlus organizes computer courses aimed at students of secondary schools of Matany, who lack in financial resources, because in Uganda, the computer exam is compulsory during the high-school.
Finally, it organizes refresher courses for local health staff, especially on the management of patients with HIV infection and on the main nursing procedures.
In future some new projects are about to be considered.
In Uganda they are thinking about doing an intervention in Kalongo and Amudat Protestant Hospitals.
In Italy IDEA Onlus organizes various events (concerts, sports tournaments, theatre evenings, dinners, etc) with the purpose of both fund raising and awareness of the problems in developing countries.
In addition, since its inception, it is addressed to students of junior high school and senior high school of Turin and Asti, with meetings about infectious diseases prevention and about global and intercultural education.
Xlestrade asked how it is possible to collaborate with them.
There are many ways: from collaboration in the events organization, awareness-raising activities in schools up to the direct participation in on-site projects for doctors or computer educators wishing to undertake in IDEA Onlus projects in Uganda.
For this reason, an agreement with the University of Turin has been signed, which allows young physicians postgraduate students to live a working experience in Africa as an integral part of the curriculum.
The message …. The message that they wanted to leave us is an African proverb :-).
“Where there is a will there is always a path”.
We conclude by congratulating on … the IDEA and wishing them to have a lot of will to continue in walking through this street!!!