Awakened with a start, it's around one o'clock in the morning. The phone was ringing. Henry’s sister is calling to say that she has a young girl at their home who developed an infection from a small wound. The infection produced a dangerously high fever and the girl has been vomiting for hours. The family has no car and there is no clinic nearby to seek medical treatment or even receive basic first aid. The nearest facility is over 30 kilometers away. To leave immediately would mean making the arduous walk at night - traveling along a busy highway for light. Taxis and trucks would speed by with little ability to see a woman carrying a small, sick child. They decided they needed to wait until morning. The only thing they could do that night was to continue to use old, cultural remedies and pray the girl would make it through.
Her life continued to decline rapidly until she could barely sit up. As the sun rose, she was quickly transported to the district hospital and was immediately admitted. She was in critical condition, fighting for her young life. The doctors performed a variety of tests and determined that the infection had turned into sepsis, a highly preventable condition, which ultimately led to septicemia. The young girl succumbed to her illness before 11 am.
At her funeral, thoughts of how this tragedy could have been avoided weighed heavily on everyone’s mind. If there had only been a nearby health clinic her condition could have been quickly diagnosed, prolonging her life until she could have received more advanced treatment. Had this been the case, she would likely still be alive today.
But it was all too late. At that moment, we knew these unnecessary deaths from preventable conditions needed to be stopped. We knew that something needed to be done now, and that is when the idea for Tassa was born. With no material resources, but with a dedicated purpose, hope, and a lot of passion.
As time passed, there were more unnecessary deaths from similar infections and other minor diseases. Ultimately, these treatable conditions claimed four more children. Action was needed immediately so construction quickly began on the clinic, and was completed in November 2017. The Taasa Community Health Clinic treated its first patient in March 2018.
Due to limited resources, outpatient services was the main focus for the first six months. Patients quickly flocked to the clinic seeking treatment for a variety of ailments - anything from routine aches, pains, and fevers, to cases of malaria and tuberculosis. We do our best to treat every patient we can and often work long hours into the night, using only headlamps to light our way. We have seen a drastic improvement in the patients we are treating, but we also realize that preventing death from common disease is not the only war we are fighting. To fully serve our brothers and sisters of Uganda, we have expanded our services to include maternity and family planning, nutrition assistance, and general wellness check-ups. We hope to continue to develop these areas of our practice, among many others, in order to provide the most extensive and highest quality treatment possible to our community.