Mobile Hospice Mbarara started the 6th January 1998.
HAU first came in Mbarara in 1995 for a training programme for health professionals, including the medical staff from the Mbarara University Teaching Hospital and Medical students of the Mbarara University of Sciences and Technology (MUST). Since then HAU has been teaching palliative care to all MUST Medical students.
After raising interest about our services, an internationally renowned Professor, Prof Pat Pathack gave the team a car and lots of medical sundries to start a mobile service. The team later got a Rotary grant through him to start Mobile Hospice Mbarara (MHM). The District Officer was also supportive in bringing palliative care to the people of the district.
Mobile Hospice Mbarara has developed quickly to become an efficient palliative care centre that reaches the surrounding population in rural areas through home visits, outreaches and roadside clinics. MHM also offers outpatient consultation, hospital visits and day care programmes. As for 2015, MHM is caring for about 740 patients and their families, and it has cared for over 9,000 patients and their families since 1998.
MHM offers quality palliative care services, through qualified palliative care workers and with available appropriate medicine. The team relies on a group of dedicated community volunteers who assists in the daily management of patients within their communities and on site.
MHM also hosts a qualified social worker who supports all patients in need, including the beneficiaries of the Give a Chance Programme that pays school fees for children living with or affected by cancer or HIV/AIDS. The MHM also refers eligible cervix cancer patients to the HAU Road to Care Programme that gives financial support for cancer screening, accommodation and transport for radiotherapy treatment in Mulago National Referral Hospital in Kampala. See Complementary Programmes.
Mobile Hospice Mbarara is also an excellent site for palliative care teaching and placement. MHM hosts students from MUST, from the Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care in Africa and from the Palliative Care Initiator’s’ Course of the HAU International Programmes. Aside providing clinical care, the MHM team members also train health professional from the whole continent, including French-speakers. The students on placement witness the special ethos of the MHM’s team and his caring approach to the patients and family, which has made its excellent reputation.
MHM is now growing further. Already much involved in Paediatrics care, MHM has recently been given a grant from DFID to develop a Paediatrics palliative care programme that would be the reference for the rest of the country and Africa.
MHM has been given a land from the Catholic Archdiocese of Mbarara, and HAU is currently looking for funding to build the new MHM site. (see plans below)
View of the future buildings of Mobile Hospice Mbarara