Medcare Covid update and appeal to save the starving

In the UK, despite high numbers of COVID cases and continuing deaths, we have been privileged to receive good hospital care for those falling seriously ill with the coronavirus infection, vaccinations for the vast majority of our adult population and continued testing when necessary. In Uganda test kits are expensive and not readily available and recorded cases are rapidly rising every day. It has been reported that, with a population of 44 million people, only 1 million Ugandan people have been vaccinated against COVID, and those with one dose only. Vaccinations are now unavailable. This leaves millions of people still vulnerable to infection and serious illness. Oxygen is in short supply as is sufficient PPE to protect all the country's health workers.

We have received the following report from William Lubyayi, the Medcare Child Sponsorship manager in Uganda:

"It is yet another tragedy, a month of nightmares, where people are dying mercilessly and the living are locked into their homes.

Everyone has to stay in their homes unless they are very sick and need to go to hospital. Those who are chronically sick with, for example, AIDS, have to seek permission from the local village chairperson before they can attend their clinics. Many have resorted to herbal medicines rather than travel away from their homes because of fear of the pandemic. This is putting lives seriously at risk.

The present lockdown has led to lack of casual jobs which most of our parents need to sustain their families. The families with no land on which to farm are now starving. Heavy rain earlier this year has resulted in a lack of food such as maize and beans - the staple diet for the very poor in Uganda. In addition, all food costs have risen tremendously and have become unaffordable to many.

A recent Ugandan TV documentary showed a blind couple with a great number of children. They have been feeding on banana peels to try to feed their family. This story is being repeated in all the very poor villages and many children go hungry with only one meal every couple of days. 

At Wellspring patient numbers are very low, because the lockdown prohibits people from moving out of their villages and the boda boda taxis are not allowed to work. The sponsored children are no longer allowed to meet for their monthly meetings and distribution of food. At present Wellspring staff are distributing the food for the sponsored children in outreach programmes.

COVID-19 has affected many Ugandans. Many patients are admitted to the hospitals with Severe Acute Respiratory conditions, but, because of the lack of testing kits, patients are not tested for COVID. Burials occur every day in the villages around Wellspring.”

Thousands of Ugandan children need our help today.

Medcare is once again appealing for help for the most vulnerable families whose children normally attend Wellspring clinics for medical care, children facing starvation and disease. At a cost of £1 a day a poor Ugandan family can be provided with essential food to keep their children from starving! – the cost of one chocolate bar, or one packet of crisps, or one can of coca cola!

Please help us in our appeal. Our Just Giving appeal can be found on:

Thank you. God bless you and keep you safe.

Dr Pauline Hutchinson MBE, Medcare Chair



2nd August 2021

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