KELSEYVILLE >> Worldwide Healing Hands (WHH), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care for women and children, is sending a team of doctors, nurses and volunteers to Uganda to train health care workers and provide services at the Muko Health Centre IV in Rubanda County, Kabale District.
“We plan to assist the staff at the Muko Health Centre, which as a level IV center in Uganda should be able to provide cesarean sections but does not,” said Dr. Paula Dhanda, medical director and president of the WHH board. “Our goal of this mission is to find the causes of this deficiency and help to correct it.”
Dhanda, a Kelseyville-based physician, and Dr. Arthur Bikangaga of Clearlake will lead a group of nine on the mission. Bikangaga is originally from the Kabale District in Uganda and has ties to the White Ribbon Alliance, a group that is partnering with WHH on the mission. The nonprofit White Ribbon Alliance works to decrease maternal and newborn death globally.
“The Muko Health Centre faces several challenges in providing health services to women and children in need,” Dhanda said. “It is in a poverty-stricken area with poor roads and difficult accessibility. The center itself is small and limited in bed space and equipment. There is a shortage of staff, no ambulance and poor telecommunications. It is essential that the center be able to perform cesarean sections.”
The group departed Monday and most of the group will return after a two-week stay that will include health care treatment to individuals in need and intensive training of the Ugandan workers so that they in turn will be able to train other health care providers.
Joining Dhanda and Bikangaga will be anesthesiologist Ken Cartwright, surgical technician Philip Fitch, contractor Michael DelValle, publicist Amber Dems, photographer Nathan DeHart, student Jasmin Clarke and additional volunteer Carly Alvord.
The Uganda mission is the most recent international project in which the nonprofit organization seeks to improve the quality of health care for women and children in underserved areas. Previous trips have included missions in Nepal, Chad and Haiti.
WHH partners with medical organizations around the world to provide compassionate medical and surgical care in a way that is respectful to the cultural beliefs of the women. Medical personnel donate their time and expertise with a goal of training local physicians and midwives so that WHH’s work is sustainable.
Worldwide Healing Hands also provides health care services to the people of Lake County. In September, on two consecutive Saturdays, WHH teamed with several nurses, doctors, students and other volunteers to offer free health screenings to Valley Fire survivors at the Moose Lodge in Clearlake Oaks. Additional free health clinics have been conducted by WHH at various Lake County locations earlier this year.
The majority of funding for WHH is provided by donations. To learn more about WHH’s efforts and missions or to donate, visit the organization’s website at www.worldwidehealinghands.org and Facebook pages. Financial contributions may be mailed directly to WHH at 5685 Main St., Kelseyville, CA 95451.
Dr. Paula Dhanda is a practicing physician in Kelseyville. She is the founder of Worldwide Healing Hands. She may be reached at 279-8733 or visit http://drspecialtycare.com/ or http://www.worldwidehealinghands.org/.
Published in the Lake County Record Bee: Worldwide Healing Hands embarks on mission to Uganda