GlobeMed at Princeton University partners with COVE Alliance to prevent transmission of communicable diseases in rural Uganda.
GlobeMed at Princeton University + COVE Alliance
GlobeMed at Princeton University | Princeton, New Jersey
Cove Alliance | Kapeeka, Uganda
2,000 children die each day from diarrhoeal diseases, 90% of which is due to a lack of safe water, sanitation, and basic hygiene.
“To be sure, fighting for global health equity is not something we can do from the sidelines. We need to take action.”
– Cornelia Lluberes ’14 and Amy Li ’14, Princeton University
About the Partnership
COVE Alliance originated as one man’s dream and has become a growing network of caring, gifted people reaching out to orphaned and disadvantaged children in Uganda. As a young seminarian in Uganda’s Kasana-Luweero Diocese, Father Hillary ministered to hundreds of orphaned youths who had no one to care for them. “Now the remnants of the war became the victims of HIV/AIDS,” reported Hilary. COVE Alliance, a nonprofit organization serving orphaned and vulnerable children in central Uganda, was founded to combat the combination of political, economics, and health challenges confronted by the youth of Uganda.
Today, COVE Alliance U.S. raises funds to support COVE’s presence in Uganda. The town of Kapeeka and the Diocese of Kasana-Luweero are home to COVE Alliance Uganda with its Children’s Outreach Program and site of the St. Jerome COVE Center, a combination primary school and health clinic. The GlobeMed at Princeton chapter is partnered with COVE Alliance of Uganda. Through fundraising, GROW internships on-site in Kapeeka, and other initiatives, the chapter supports COVE Alliance in its mission to provide education and health care to orphaned and disadvantaged children in Uganda.
In 2008, a health clinic was established at the site of the St. Jerome COVE Center in Kapeeka, Uganda. The goal of the health clinic is to improve the access to and utilization of health services among the people of Kapeeka and the surrounding areas. With a staff of seven people, the medical clinic serves roughly 3,000 patients annually. In addition to administering tests and vaccines, the health clinic also initiates community education programs to inform the community on key health issues. Over the course of the past few years, the health clinic has become an indispensable part of the community.
This year’s project will focus on supporting the installation of sinks and water catchment systems in the health clinic. It has been noted by partner staff and GROW interns that the current medical facilities are lacking the necessary access to water for hand-washing between patients. Temporary measures in increasing sanitation have been implemented, such as the use of hand-washing stations, gloves, and hand sanitizer. However, these are only short-term measures, and studies have shown that hand-washing with soap before eating and after using the toilet could save more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention, cutting deaths from diarrhea by almost half and acute respiratory infections by a quarter. Currently, there is also a Typhoid Fever epidemic in the area (51% of the rural population), and hand-washing is absolutely necessary to reduce transmission of the disease. A large change in hand-washing behavior is critical to meeting the Millennium Development Goal of reducing deaths among children under the age of 5 by two-thirds by 2015. By expanding the services offered by the clinic and improving the quality and quantity of healthcare for both the students at St. Jerome COVE Primary School and the surrounding community, GlobeMed at Princeton and COVE Alliance hope to strengthen their partnership and create a visible impact in the community.
GlobeMed at Princeton hopes to raise $3,000 this year for the installation of sinks and water catchment systems in the health clinic of the St. Jerome COVE Center. The development of this infrastructure is the first step to promoting hand sanitation, which is vital for the prevention of communicable diseases that afflict the region.