Uganda's hospitals are very much what you would expect from a developing country: over-crowded and under-staffed.
The COME Uganda Hospital Advocacy team do an amazing job at filling the gap, offering free care to destitute patients. This team of dedicated, caring staff and volunteers advocate for, feed, bathe, clothe, counsel and pray for hundreds of people each week, often seeing life transformations taking place.
The team is headed by Charles Kahwa on the right behind.
For many mothers in Uganda, childbirth can be a very traumatic experience, with an average of 16 women dying each day in childbirth due to complications and many others suffering fistulas and other labour related traumas. Birth does not always go as expected, with high percentages of premature births, obstructed labours and infant mortality. It is also not uncommon for a mother to give birth to twins when she was only expecting one child, leaving her feeling underprepared and stressed from day one. For some mothers, the thought of raising a child without family support can be overwhelming, prompting them to abandon their newborn child at the hospital with the hopes that they will receive a better upbringing in an orphanage or with adoptive parents.
The COME Hospital Advocacy workers that volunteer in the maternity ward at Mulago Hospital have hearts of gold! They are a peaceful and comforting presence for many of these mothers, offering reassurance and assistance where possible. They also provide a lifesaving service in the neo-natal intensive care unit, holding and comforting babies when their mothers are unable to, reducing the impact of trauma and stress on the already frail newborns. Overseas volunteers and visitors to COME Uganda often bring baby clothes and sanitary products that these Maternity Care workers distribute to high need mothers and babies.