Mwenya Uganda Mobile Clinic
Country of Operation
Target income level
- Bottom 20%
- Lower-middle income (20-40%)
- Middle-income (40-60%)
SummaryMwenya Uganda works to improve levels of healthcare in rural communities by running mobile dental and medical clinics alongside health education workshops.
Key program components
Mwenya (meaning smile in a local dialect) Uganda is a not-for-profit non-governmental organization in Uganda, set up in 2010 in response to the extremely sparse and poor levels of dental and medical care in the country's rural areas. It is made up of unpaid volunteers (60), a Ugandan team of doctors, dentists, and a UK-based team of 4 dedicated students.
To increase awareness of and demand for the clinical services ahead of the mobile clinic visits, a group of volunteers goes around the community raising awareness about the services offered and the time and location of the visit.
On the set date, the clinic is set up and patients queue to receive HIV testing, de-worming, dental treatment and general consultation services. The medical team dispenses medication and patients are given doctors' contact numbers in case they have further concerns. Members of the local community volunteer to help run the services, helping to record patient data, among other activities. All services are offered free of cost to the patient.
The location of Mwenya's first clinic was chosen to be Bussi Island, due to its geographical isolation and complete lack of any permanent health care services. 642 patients were treated in 4 areas: dental, HIV testing and counselling, intestinal deworming service and doctor consultation. Services found in private dental clinics can be extremely painful for patients, with no anaesthetic and inefficient, broken and old dental tools. The Mwenya Uganda team is provided recycled equipment from the UK that is of a Western standard to help them give the highest quality treatment to patients.
Surveys are done to assess the most pressing community needs. The team also carries out preventative activities such as digging latrines, cutting nearby bushes, repairing roofs, digging rubbish pits, and speaking to the local populations about the importance of boiling drinking water, among others.
The aim of the program is to run mobile clinics every weekend, though the program has not yet been able to hold additional clinics due to limited funding. It cost under £700 to treat 642 patients. That's £1.09 per person. Funds for the services are obtained through fundraising.