A story about how QCT funding has helped OneDay Health to provide health care access to people in remote parts of Uganda.
Founded in 2016 by two young pioneers, Dr Nick Laing and Pranav Sridhar, a social entrepreneur. The duo was determined to find a permanent healthcare solution for the millions of Ugandans living in healthcare black holes, places with no access to quality healthcare. Earlier on Pranav had observed the same healthcare black holes in his native India. With Pranav and Dr Laing’s passions aligned, they combined social entrepreneur skills with medical and health management expertise. After having 4 OneDay health centres in early 2018 they expanded rapidly with 29 health centres now operational which have treated over 120,000 patients in remote villages.
The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust’s partnership and funding of OneDay Health has enabled OneDay Health to have a huge impact on rural communities in Africa. In March 2021, ten OneDay Health centres were launched through QCT support treating over 20,000 patients to date. For decades these communities struggled when families became unwell, now they have a good healthcare option. Talented nurses have found long term employment through OneDay Health, jobs created through QCT funding.
QCT facilitated OneDay Health’s first ever full staff training programme that brought together 25 nurses from across 16 Ugandan districts. QCT training also empowered their management team, two of whom experienced online meetings for the first time.
“QCT’s focus on the strength of our organisation has helped us to professionalise and strengthen our organisation especially in the areas of safeguarding, organisational reach and finances.” Dr Nick Laing.
The consistent support and mentorship received from QCT staff such as Winfred has enabled Nick and Pranav to effectively manage OneDay Health and also gain expert advice and assistance with social media and pitching to funders.
One of the first Heath centres to be launched was Pwunu Dyang and it has been one of the most successful. After operating out of a small rented building for 3 years, the community rallied together, burnt bricks and provided timbers for their own new permanent health centre. As the only health centre within 20 km, resident Nurse Elec Alfred is a lifeline to the community, saving lives from seizure, malaria and even performing emergency deliveries when necessary. The centre has now added a midwife as well, so the facility can deliver babies and mothers in which they will no longer need to travel long distances.
QCT funded health centre Anepkide was recently launched in a remote region of West Lango, the most remote OneDay Health facility in that hub of 8 health centres. The facility was so remote there was concern that it might not succeed because the population was too low. Six months later, Anepkide exceeded all expectations, proving hugely popular, treating on average 250 patients a month and generating more than enough income from the community to sustain itself.
“Nurse Jackie has been a superstar, treating patients with great skill and accuracy using our WHO based guidelines and through that gaining the support of the community. Facilities like Anepkide prove that our OneDay Health model can provide permanent, sustainable healthcare even in the most unlikely places”, Dr Nick Laing.
Over 50% of the patients treated are children under 13 years old. High quality treatment of children will help them thrive, and improve school performance. Malaria and deworming treatment are proven to increase days in school and other learning outcomes. This was expressed by one father who visited Ocim OneDay Health Centre who said:
“My children used to convulse when they had malaria, and I used to move a long distance seeking medical care but since you opened this health center it has helped us a lot”.
A Mother who visited Nyakagoro OneDay Health center said:
“For a long time over a period of 10 years we suffered here because there was no health center, so people died on the way to other health centers. But now at least our lives have changed, because the hospital is near us”
OneDay Health has drastically reduced the cost of health care access, therefore resulting in rural citizens having more money in their pockets. As the health of the population improves, productivity will increase and give people more opportunity to provide for their families.
Over a $150,000 has been saved by communities in transport costs to distant facilities. A mother who visited Wii Lacor OneDay Health center expressed her relief at having greater accessibility to centers.
“We used to move a long distance, and spend a lot of money on transport yet you may not even get all the medication you need. Since you opened this health center life has become easy, we can even move on foot and we always get all the treatment that we need”
OneDay health is committed to the future progression towards that One Day which will provide access to quality health for everyone. The organisation plans to launch another 15 centres and have 45 operational. The endeavour is to explore opportunities for growth into other countries and work with larger organisations who could implement their model at an even larger scale. QCT remains dedicated to supporting the organisation’s development.
“QCT’s focus on the strength of our organisation has helped us to professionalise and strengthen our organisation especially in the areas of safeguarding, organisational reach and finances. As our biggest institutional funder, QCT has been a wind behind our back, a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on whenever we needed them”, Dr Nick Laing
Through QCT’s grant, the young leader had the freedom to grow OneDay Health to its full capacity. Show your support today by visiting QCT’s Get Involved page.
To learn more about the work OneDay Health carries out click here