MARACHA. Residents in Maracha district have requested Germany Leprosy and TB Relief Association (GLRA) to inject more resources to support people leaving with disabilities (PWDs).

The organization is planning to launch the second phase of a project to support PWDs in the district in December 2020.

The organization supported Maracha hospital with 50,000 Euros to implement the community nursing project for detection of disability, making assistive devices and early referrals for 18 months in 2018.

According to Ms Victoria Apoko, a nurse at Oleba health centre III, the project has brought significant change in the communities by enhancing the lives of PWD's who were initially marginalized.

“During the project, all demands for mobility for people with disability were provided, they can now walk anywhere, do exercise which is making their muscles relax, let this project continue in order to benefit more PWDs”, Ms Apoko noted.

The leader for village health teams (VHTs) Mr Ronald Asega said the second phase of the project is necessary because the need among the communities is still high.

“People with disabilities are really in dire need of support, the few who benefited have testified that their life has changed in the short run”, Asega stated.

He also revealed that the project supported VHTs to pass appropriate messages in their communities.

“GLRA has actually imparted knowledge in the VHT’s so that they help the PWDs in their various areas and they have been doing very well on the project and on the activities they have been doing”, Asega added.

According to the Medical director of St Joseph’s hospital Maracha Dr Alphones Taban, the project was successful because the 51 health workers including 17 community nurses and 34 village health team members were properly trained by COMBRA on disability.

“They were trained on the types of disability, its common etiologies, the management within the community, making of assistive devices and referral for further care, data management and how to penetrate the community to assess for disability”, Taban stated

PWDDr Taban issues Items to VHTs for field work.

During the implementation of the project, the challenges were identified through routine supervisions and preview meetings and among which were; challenges with transport during COVID-19 lock down in Uganda for which bicycles were given to VHTs. They were also supported with personal protective equipment.

At least 3,380 households were assessed for disability, more than 1, 700 to 2000 households targeted.

At least 1,085 cases of disability have been identified in the categories of physical disability, mental, auditory, visual disability and the others with physical disability being 53% of the cases of disability.