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Hospital staff share their skills with Uganda

Pictured left to right – Dr Chris Jones, Chairman, Ronack Mukabire,  Rev Lance Sharpe, Robert Salter

Thirty year old Ronack Mukabire from Mbale, Uganda has returned home after six weeks visiting the UK and Cwm Taf University Health Board.
Ronack came to Wales to gain further skills in maintaining and repairing medical equipment with the clinical engineering staff which he can take back to Mbale.

Ronack who lives with his Guardian in Mbale town is on his first visit to Wales with the Partnership Overseas Networking Trust (PONT*) to further his skills in repairing hospital equipment for use in Mbale.

Working a forty hour week as an electrician as well as being on call in an emergency, Ronack also repairs the medical equipment.

Ronack says: “In the Mbale area there is one Government hospital. Under this hospital there are six other health centres and three other hospitals which sit in the neighboring small districts. There is a regional workshop that oversees and manages all medical equipment within that region. This is located within the premises of the main regional hospital in Mbale. The workshop has large areas to cover and I am responsible for the Mbale regional hospital.

“Wales is very different to Uganda. In Uganda only around 10% of the entire population use cookers and about 7% use washing machines. This is mainly because of the expense. About 20% of the population use smaller hot plates and stoves because they are slightly more affordable. Paying for power bills when using cookers, washing machines and hotplates is too expensive for the majority of the population so most people use charcoal and firewood for cooking due to the cost.

“My visit here has been extremely beneficial to my skills. I have repaired/serviced and maintained lots of medical equipment and learnt a great deal. I have also had the privilege of making many friends who can offer me support that will benefit the hospital that I am serving in Mbale”.

The PONT team arranged for Ronack to attend church with its members at the weekends and during the evenings as his religion is very important to him. Rev Lance Sharpe visited Ronack to demonstrate the link between spiritual care and healthcare which is very strong in Uganda’s healthcare system.

Robert Salter, Healthcare Scientist who supervised Ronack during his time in the Health Board said: “Working with Ronack has been a delight, his experiences have given us great insight into the importance of patient’s care in the community - that is the only sustainable model for developing countries where acute hospital care is too expensive to deliver with the limited resources they have available”.

*PONT is a community to community link between Rhondda Cynon Taf in South Wales and a district in Uganda called Mbale. Further info on PONT

http://pont-mbale.org.uk/main/index.php

Source: Cwm Taf University Health Board

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