The first community Taasa Health partnered with was Buvunya Village, located in the Mabira Forest region of eastern Uganda. Buvunya is a rural farming village where 75% of the population makes less than $1.75 a day. With no accessible medical services to treat the villagers and sugarcane workers in the surrounding camps, it was a perfect location for Taasa to make a meaningful impact with a limited budget.
After evaluating the community in Buvunya’s needs, our initial focus was maternal health—providing a safe and sterile environment where trained professionals would assist in childbirth and educate women on childcare. We helped build a clinic, Taasa Community Health Center, which is a fully registered Non-Governmental Organization in Uganda and a certified Level 2 Health Center with a maternity ward, lab and outpatient services, and a pharmacy. The clinic was managed by our Chief of Operations, Dr. Richard Ntwasi, along with a staff of one certified clinical officer, a midwife, and a cleaner. Our labs have the capacity to test villagers for a range of ailments including malaria, typhoid, and HIV, and our pharmacy provides access to a variety of necessary prescriptions. The Buvunya clinic has treated more than 4,000 local patients in its first two years of operation.
Since its opening, the clinic has been treating over 250 people a month at little or no cost to the patient. It has also successfully delivered more than 40 healthy newborns in the maternity ward, and continues to provide maternal and infant routine care for the families. Over time we also formed close relationships with many of the villagers in Buvunya, and decided to expand our community programming beyond medical services. Ultimately, we helped them develop a community garden and founded a village soccer team called Taasa F.C. We are excited by our progress so far, and we intend to implement similar programs at our new location in Uganda’s Kalungu District.
Using this success in Buvunya as a model, our goal is to build a second clinic and provide quality, accessible healthcare to locals in another underserved region. After speaking extensively with village elders and local politicians, we purchased a tract of land in early 2021 near Kalungu, which is in Western Uganda. Our goal is for the clinic and its attendant community programming to eventually achieve the same degree of self-sufficiency and community development we currently see occurring in Buvunya.