Aber Hospital Project - Serving the People of Oyam, Uganda
Pope John's Hospital Aber is a 200-bed not-for-profit health care facility in Uganda. It serves the people of Oyam District, with a population of about 335,300. Nine percent of adults in Oyam (approximately 30,000) and six percent of pregnant women suffer from HIV/AIDS. (Source: District Planning Unit 2008/2009 Report) Without care, those affected by HIV will die in three to five years. Access to prompt laboratory and radiological diagnoses is critical in these cases. It would give these individuals the chance to receive highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), as well as treatment for opportunistic infectionstwo forms of care that would make a major difference in prolonging their lives.
More than half of the patients admitted to Pope John's Hospital Aber are HIV positive, most of whom have active cases of AIDS. The hospital's caregivers see about 500 patients per day in the outpatient department, 300 of those patients in the hospital's AIDS clinic. Most of the HIV/AIDS patients come to the hospital with chest infections, predominantly tuberculosis (TB).The Urgent Need for Equipment
Today, Pope John's Hospital Aber is equipped only with two microscopes and a centrifuge, making it extremely difficult to perform even the most basic tests. Patients must travel to laboratories 100 kilometers away just to have liver or kidney tests. Although the hospital does its best to provide care using its meager resources, it has become increasingly impossible to diagnose patients because of the lack of laboratory equipment and the poor condition of what is available. The hospital's only X-ray machine was purchased when the hospital was founded 40 years ago. It breaks down two to three times each year, blocking the staff's ability to provide care. Even the building where the X-ray machine is housed is beginning to crack and fall apart.
To be able to best serve its community, Pope John's Hospital Aber needs to build a new radiology department with a modern X-ray machine and an ultrasound machine. It should have a clinical laboratory that can conduct chemistry, cytology, and microbiology tests for its patients. The hospital should be able to offer its patients HIV antibody tests, sputum microscopy, and other standard laboratory tests required for patient follow-up.The Hospital's History and Mission
Founded in 1969, Pope John's Hospital Aber was established by the Comboni Missionary sisters. It is owned and governed by the registered trustees of Lira Diocese. The hospital's mission is to provide quality health care to those in need, fighting disease and poverty for every sick person regardless of his or her ethnic origin, social status, religion, or political affiliation. Pope John's Hospital Aber gives the most vulnerable people access to health care, including children and those affected by chronic diseases. Its caregivers take an integrated and sustainable approach to health care, supporting treatment, prevention, and training of other health workers. Pope John's Hospital Aber offers both clinical and community-based services. Clinical services are provided through four inpatient departments: Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, and Surgery. The hospital also has an outpatient department with an AIDS clinic.
A new hospital building that is better equipped to serve the local population would allow the hospital to continue its mission to bring quality health care to those in Uganda who need it most.