Musana Newsletter March 2018
You treat a disease: you win, you lose. 
You treat a person, I guarantee you win-no matter what the outcome.
— Patch Adams
In October, we started a new department at Musana Community Health Center: The Rehabilitation and Occupational Therapy Department. Over the past six months, it has been exciting to see the department develop and we are thrilled to see how it will continue to grow to reach an underserved population in the Iganga community.

Musana has always taken care of the most vulnerable individuals, including children and adults of all abilities. Unfortunately, due to lack of understanding and deeply rooted beliefs, individuals with disabilities are often isolated, neglected, stigmatized, and caught in a cycle of poverty that enhances the impairments that originally caused their disability. Occupational therapy is a holistic profession that focuses on ability rather than disability, and assists clients in living their lives to the fullest potential. This new department aims to identify those individuals that can benefit from occupational or physical therapy and empower them to find meaning, dignity, and independence in their daily activities in order to help them live their best lives. The department spends time in neighboring villages teaching the community the importance and value of children with disabilities, following up on cases that have come through the health center, and empowering persons with disabilities and their families through community groups. The Rehabilitation and Occupational Therapy Department has impacted many lives already, like Desire and Marvin.
Desire was accidentally pushed into a fire while she was playing with friends. She had burns all around both of her feet making it extremely painful for her to do anything but lie in bed. The burns also put her at a high risk of developing contractures that could prevent her from walking. Musana’s occupational therapists worked closely with Desire and her mother, making splints for her feet, guiding her through her daily exercises, helping her to stand and walk, and even teaching her to do her own scar massage to help with the healing process. Desire’s therapy also included caring for her most prized toy, Dolly. Dolly, like Desire, needed therapy for her legs. Desire helped to wrap Dolly’s feet, helped her stand and walk, and most importantly taught Dolly how to be brave throughout painful dressing changes. Desire is such a strong young lady and we are so grateful for the opportunity to support her until she can be independent!
We found Marvin during one of our disability outreaches in a village outside of Iganga Town. Marvin suffered from a type of malaria that caused permanent damage in his brain when he was only 1 year old, leading him to develop a disability in his legs. His parents are peasant farmers with limited education and access to social services. When Musana found the family, the parents had never gotten the opportunity to bring him to a quality health facility to determine what caused his legs to stop moving properly. Because of his handicap, Marvin has spent most of his life isolated from his siblings and neighbors. His parents had no idea that he possessed great potential and the capacity to have a fulfilling life. Through education and intervention with our occupational therapists, he now can be found playing outside with his peers, smiling, and learning how to move around his home on his own. Rogers, our occupational therapist, built him this standing frame from sticks found in their garden. His parents now help him with his exercises and he is making great progress!
In addition to the many individuals that the Rehabilitation and Occupational Therapy Department has already supported, the department has also started community groups that strive to empower individuals with disability and their families. These groups started when the department noticed that parents had limited social support and felt isolated within their communities because of the stigma towards disability. One such group calls themselves The Lucky Mothers Group. These mothers meet twice monthly to discuss challenges they are facing, share knowledge, learn about their children’s conditions, support one another, and advocate for equal opportunities for their children. (** In the photo, the women are watching a video of a mother who has a disability care for her son who has the same condition. One of the mothers found the clip online and asked to share it with the others to inspire and empower them. ) The group’s motto is “Okwiisanya Namani,” which means “Together, we have strength!”

What a blessing this department has been to Musana and the community at large! We look forward to seeing it grow and continue to break the stigma of disability in Iganga!
Friday, June 1, 2018
Colorado National Golf Club
(2700 Vista Pkwy, Erie, CO 80516)

Registration begins at noon
Shot gun start at 1:30 p.m. 
Awards and prizes at 6:30 p.m.

A chance to win a car, prizes and silent auction! 
REGISTRATION
$150 per player
$550 per foursome 
Registration includes green fees, event t-shirt, and dinner
** $30 Dinner ONLY tickets for sale **
This is a charity event benefiting Musana Community Development Organization. Donations from the silent auction, super tickets, sponsorships and general donations collected during the event will help the men, women and children in rural Uganda receive access to quality health care and education. For more information about this event, contact Susie, susieknight@musana.org. Musana is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit all donations made to Musana directly will be tax-deductible under IRS regulations.