AFRICA/UGANDA - Ebola, malnutrition, illiteracy: Camillian religious health centers at the service of the poorest

Friday, 21 October 2022


Musoli (Agenzia Fides) - Malnutrition, poverty, illiteracy and unemployment are among the country's main challenges. To this is added, since the beginning of September, an epidemic of Ebola, which seems for the moment to be limited to two districts. World Health Organization data show 60 confirmed and 20 probable cases, with 44 deaths and 25 recoveries. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni had imposed a curfew in the two hotspot districts, Mubende, 80 km from Kampala, and Kassanda, as well as a travel ban and the closure of public places. The fear is that the virus could spread in the capital where 1.5 million people live.
In this context of precariousness, the Religious of the Order of Ministers of the Sick, the Camillians, present in Uganda since 2000 in several departments, operate. "In the two health centers that we have in the country, we try to serve the poor in the area", writes to Fides Fr. Babychan Pazhanilath, MI, Superior of the Camillian delegation in Uganda.
"In the last two years - he says - we have started a number of projects to help the local population by training 70 poor/abandoned girls. Sewing, catering, hairdressing: two years of training through which they can find employment and thus build their future and their families. Another initiative that is close to our hearts, and that we are pursuing, is in favor of young unemployed people from fishing families. We are currently helping 36 families by providing them with everything they need for their activities".
Among the plagues that afflict the Ugandan population is a high rate of HIV, explains the missionary. "We are supporting 50 poor families, some of whom are infected with HIV, some with cancer. There is a great need to have a palliative care center for the poor. Many children cannot go to the school because of poverty, and unfortunately we can only support a few of them".
"We hope and pray to St. Camillus, our Founder, that many generous people will want to share our dream and our ministry", concludes Fr. Babychan.
Currently, the Camillian mission in Uganda has 3 local priests, 8 temporary professed, 5 novices and 13 postulants. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 21/10/222)