Our founders Robert and Helena Brown initially went out to Uganda to visit an orphanage which was linked to the church they went to, Revive a Life. Whilst they were in Kampala they had the opportunity to visit a struggling medical centre which was part of the same charity but which due to financial reasons would probably need to close, They saw that there was a real care for patients at this centre but there were just not the funds available to help those in need. After spending time talking with the manager of the centre they soon realised that the people of Uganda would often have to choose when they have some little money between paying for medicines or treatment or feeding the family. In one of the poorest countries where 10 million people do not have access to safe or clean water and where more than 4 million of the 37.5 million population are starving (2016 news figures) there is a great need for medical care that can be given freely to those in need. The lack of clean safe water is also a great source of diseases like Typhoid which is a killer in Uganda.
Helena and Robert also were taken to look at the referral and major hospital in Kampala where they were shocked to see the conditions patients were in, how dirty it was and how crowded it was with patients unable to get treatment because they don't have the funds.
Patients commonly dying waiting for simple operation and even some patients committing suicide because they couldn't stand the pain and were unable to access pain relief, patients mixed on wards including adults with abscesses in the childrens ward. Rebecca the UK administrator went on a couple of visits with Steven out administrator in Uganda earlier this year and saw some of the similar conditions, including clinical waste just piled up outside the back doors and 1 and 2 day old babies being cared for in general wards. If you don't have family or anyone to care for you then no one will feed or wash you - there is no health care assistants and the nurses are few for the number of patients. Steven often goes to pray for patients and feed them especially if they don't have any family.
Because of these experiences Robert and Helena decided to take on the medial centre and TOMM was born, the centre itself was massively improved and the ethos of the charity was to provide free at point of access care to people who need it the most. Our UK administrator Rebecca joined the charity earlier this year after meeting Robert and Helena out in Uganda. TOMM is a becon of hope and as we move into the next stage we are wanting to make sure that the work we do out in Uganda impacts those who need it most, with a fundraising project to buy a vehicle which would allow us to do outreach vaccination clinics in the slums and eventually a new purpose built centre that will allow us to make some dents in the great need there is in Uganda.