Uganda

MMMs are well known in the town of Masaka, eighty kilometers southwest of Kampala, because we have been there since 1955. A major part of our work there today is in the prevention of the spread of HIV and the care of persons with AIDS, along with orphan support and training of village health workers.

At Kitovu Hospital, two kilometers outside the town of Masaka, MMM is still involved. Sister Maura Lynch, an MMM general surgeon, still works at Kitovu, where a new unit provides advanced surgical techniques to repair vesico-vaginal fistulae. This condition, resulting from prolonged obstructed labour, leaves a woman incontinent of urine and sometimes faeces. We have passed over the administration and staffing of the hospital to a local diocesan congregation of Sisters, the Daughters of Mary.

In the town of Masaka, a vibrant inter-cultural community of Sisters provides a range of services to disadvantaged people, including children orphaned by AIDS, people suffering from substance abuse, street children, and prisoners.

At Makondo, fifty kilometers west of Masaka, a community of MMMs runs a health centre and outreach care to surrounding villages.

Some of the first cases of what has come to be known as AIDS were identified near us in Uganda. In the early 1980s people called it 'slim'. They noticed people losing weight and becoming very ill. Our expertise in responding to the HIV pandemic has been honed over the years. Many specialists, journalists, and film crews have come to observe what we are doing.

It was here that the idea developed of establishing farm schools to ensure essential ongoing education for boys and girls who had to drop out of school to care for parents dying of AIDS. They then had to take on responsibility for their younger siblings. This model of care has been taken up by the United Nations and applied in a number of other countries.

MMMs in Uganda are involved in:

  • Community-based health care
  • HIV/AIDS programmes
  • Palliative care
  • Ministry to prisoners and people with drug and alcohol addiction
  • People with disabilities
  • Services for women with obstetric fistulae
  • Early preparation of women joining MMM

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