London. Friday, March 13 – Today is Red Nose Day, marking the culmination of Comic Relief’s Operation Health project in Uganda. The project, which began nine weeks ago, saw the reconstruction and renovation of a dilapidated health centre in Iyolwa, Tororo district.
Malaria Consortium has been working in partnership with Comic Relief on the project, providing local level expertise and support for the refurbishment of Iyolwa Health Centre III. As a result of our familiarity with the region through our other work, including ongoing Comic Relief-funded projects, we have provided an essential link with the community. Thanks to this latest Comic Relief project, the health centre is now virtually a new building that has been fully furnished with new equipment.
Operation Health has not only improved services at an individual health centre, but it has also strengthened the referral-based health system and has shone a spotlight on the challenges faced by rural communities who have limited access to healthcare. Red Nose Day is a biennial event around which Comic Relief, with the support of the BBC, brings attention to these issues among the UK public and raises funds for other Comic Relief projects.
Following the end of the project, we hope to continue our work in the area and with Comic Relief to ensure that the health centre continues to function properly. “Building a health facility and equipping it is not an end in itself,” said Godfrey Magumba, Malaria Consortium Uganda Country Director. “Comic Relief’s Operation Health has achieved something very special for the community in Iyolwa. Now we need to ensure that the health workers continue to receive support, supervision and training, and the community continues to be engaged and involved so that the health centre remains a sustainable facility that meets the community’s needs.”
Operation Health isn’t the first time Comic Relief and Malaria Consortium have teamed up in Uganda. Malaria Consortium’s five year Pioneer Project, funded by Comic Relief, developed a multi-pronged approach to reduce malaria-related illnesses and deaths across western Uganda. You can read more about it here.