Our new Pastor graduates the USHAPE Advanced Family Planning course

A New Year and a New Pastor has joined Bwindi Community Hospital, taking over the hospital chaplaincy from Rev. Bagaba. Rev. Elizabeth has thrown herself whole heartedly into life here at Bwindi, and in the spirit of this progressive forward thinking institution she has spent her first week undertaking the Advanced Family Plannng Cetificate with nurses, midwives and other clinical staff.

We were thrilled to have the Reverend join the program and have high hopes that through her we will more successfully engage people in debate and discussion around the relationship between religious beliefs and family plannning/sexual health. We were pleased to see that the reverend displayed a open minded and progressive attitude towards the potential benefits of family plannning.  We hope that along with our other fantastic graduates, she will go on to be an important advocate of how proper family plannning can prevent poverty, domestic violence, childhood diseases such as malnutrition and even maternal death.

Alongside the Reverend, we had 9 other trainees from midwifery, adult ward, clinical records and the outpatient department. The course was lively and fun, with a fantastic group of women putting their heart and souls into the topic. We had many fruitful discussions around women’s rights and empowerment, adolescent and student health and how we can improve the link between screening and actual implementation of family planning methods.

 Following this course, we have much work to do to start investigating and carrying out some of the fantastic ideas generated during the level 1 and level 2 courses! This includes starting a hospital womens committee to promote women’s rights, finalising so,e grant proposals to help us develop adolescent health services and meeting with the nursing school to look at enhancing student health services.

Dr Claire Marie Thomas

RCGP Volunteer, USHAPE In-country Clinical Lead

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