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Medical care in Africa: challenges & opportunities

Africa faces considerable challenges in the area of medical care. Access to high-quality healthcare is limited in many countries on the continent. Traditional medicine plays a crucial role and has been practised for generations. In combination with modern medical approaches, this could be a key to sustainably improving the health of the population.

Why we organise regular Medical Days

The Medical Day was created in response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda. Due to job losses and loss of income in many households, not only COVID-19 but also other diseases such as malaria and cholera could not be adequately treated. The enormous response with 8,000 participants shows the urgent need for such medical initiatives in Uganda.

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Medical Days

In African countries, the need for help with health and modern medicine is huge. Many people with chronic illnesses are unable to afford a doctor or medication.

During Uganda’s two-year lockdown, cases of cholera, tuberculosis and malaria increased significantly. Not to mention Ebola. Domestic violence – especially against girls – also increased. (link everything)

Together with a partner organisation, our director Florence Barigye organised a free health day for everyone. 150 doctors and medical staff took part. 5,000 guests had registered, but 6,000 turned up. The consultations were free of charge and medicines were donated by various Ugandan companies. Our scholarship holders helped with the logistics.

Just imagine: there was already a long queue of people waiting at 6 o’clock in the morning. Some had set off the day before to walk up to 30 kilometres. Often it was about tuberculosis, eye diseases, cancer, infectious and dental diseases. It was a long day that brought hope, help and protection.

Critics may argue that free aid is not sustainable. Maybe so. But we would repeat it. Because spontaneous help also counts. Especially in times like these.

Combination of traditional healing with modern medicine

Africa, a continent with a large number of countries, faces major challenges in the area of medical care. Access to high-quality medical care is inadequate in many African countries. 

Traditional medicine is strongly rooted in Africa and has been practised by the people for centuries. Traditional healers play an important role in the community. They are often the only medical care available in rural areas. It is important to respect this traditional medicine and combine it with modern medical approaches.

Emergency medical aid and long-term care

Emergency medical aid plays a crucial role in improving the health of the population and saving lives. The infrastructure is often inadequate and there is a lack of qualified specialists and medicines. Many African countries are struggling with limited resources and a high disease burden. Diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis are widespread and put a strain on the healthcare system.

The importance of emergency medical aid in Africa cannot be overemphasised. However, it is also important to strive for long-term solutions in order to sustainably improve health in Africa. This includes the training of medical staff, the development of a robust infrastructure and access to essential medicines.

By strengthening healthcare systems, African countries can improve the health of their population in the long term. This also reduces dependence on emergency medical aid.

Treatments in the outpatient clinic

However, good health is not just a question of therapeutic resources. Our two Swiss tropical physicians, Dr Danielle Gyurech and PD Dr Julian Schilling, have been demonstrating this for years. Together with Ugandan doctors, they are committed to local health. For example, it has been more than ten years since our protégés were last infected with malaria.

Good medicine focuses on the whole person. Prevention, diagnosis and treatment are just as important as the holistic well-being of the people. The co-operation between our clinic in Uganda and the Swiss doctors has made Kids of Africa known worldwide. This is because great gains in quality of life have been achieved with limited resources.

Through a combination of behavioural rules and environmental measures, we have been able to almost completely prevent malaria among our protégés. Our HIV-positive children have been living with other children for over 10 years without prejudice or health problems. All the children who came to us in a critical state of health recovered within a short time.

Prevention is the most important medicine

We organise regular consultations and treatments in our outpatient clinic. This is vital, especially for the poorest of the poor. But we prefer to organise training courses to increase understanding of prevention. Because prevention is still the best medicine.

FAQ – Frequently asked questions

Do you have any questions?
We have the answers.

How are the expenses for advertising and fundraising paid?

All advertising and fundraising expenses are paid privately by the founder of Kids of Africa, Burkhard Varnholt – as his own donation to the project, so to speak.

How can I donate for Kids of Africa?

Fill in the form on our website and transfer the amount you have chosen. We offer the following payment methods:

  • Credit card
  • Twint
  • Postfinance
  • Bank transfer
Will I receive a donation receipt for my donation?

If you wish, we will be happy to issue you with a donation receipt. In this case, please select “Yes, I would like a donation receipt for my tax return” on the form.

How high is the share of administrative costs in total expenditure?

The organisation is unconditionally committed to its purpose. Every single donation flows directly into the project and thus reaches the children in some form. The administrative costs are kept to a minimum. No salaries or fees are paid to the members. The work involved in marketing, communication and fundraising is also often donated in kind.

Kids of Africa guarantees that one hundred per cent of every franc donated reaches our many protégés.

Because we believe in each of them! Thank you for your help!

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Address in Switzerland

Kids of Africa - Association
Schiffbaustrasse 12
8005 Zurich

Address in Switzerland

Kids of Africa - Association
Schiffbaustrasse 12
8005 Zurich

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