Dr David Kalema in front of the house of Hope and Beyond

Dr David Kalema, Hope and Beyond - Photo: Simone Giehl

A clinic for addicts in Kampala

Uganda - the country has been called the "Pearl of Africa" since the British colonial rule, which ended only in 1962.

In February 2018, a group of four board members was able to convince themselves of its scenic beauty and enormous diversity of animals and plants. Apart from a few days of safari adventures in the savannah, on the Nile and with the chimpanzees in the rainforest, the main focus of the trip was to find out to what extent FORUT can contribute to the addiction clinic raquo;Hope and Beyond«, which was set up in 2014 under the direction of Dr. David Kalema.

Uganda lies directly on the equator, on 241,000 square kilometres live just under 35 million people with an average age of 15 years. Until 1962 it was a British crown colony, which is why English is the official language next to Swahili.

Until 1986, Uganda under the despot Idi Amin suffered the most serious human rights violations. The brutal dictatorship had a strong impact on the fate of many families and also on the economy.

However, Uganda is also African frontrunner as the »land of alcohol problems«. According to a 2006 UN survey, 23 % of adults in Uganda are heavy episodic drinkers. According to another WHO (World Health Organization) study from 2011, per capita consumption was 11.9 litres of pure alcohol.

Uganda therefore has massive alcohol problems. In view of the fact that the population there is on average very young, as in the rest of Africa, there is already serious alcohol abuse and serious alcohol-related damage among children and young people. A further problem is that large quantities of cheap alcohol are produced by the people themselves, and hygienic standards are rarely observed. Thus the actual ingredients and additionally harmful poisons in domestic alcoholic beverages are rarely known.

All the more important is the work of »Hope and Beyond«. Besides a state hospital, it is the only private rehabilitation facility in Uganda and one of the very few in Africa. The main work is done by low-paid specialists.

The director, Dr. David Kalema, will complete his habilitation at the University of Ghent (Belgium) in the summer of 2018 after a four-year scholarship on the subject of addiction therapy. For this reason alone, the clinic works with the latest methods and at a high scientific standard. The entire support team, such as nurse, psychologist, therapists as well as administration and accounting, is highly motivated and excellently trained.

Staff of the addiction clinic

Therapeutic professionals, Hope and Beyond - Photo: Simone Giehl

At present, 18 men and 4 women can be treated in the clinic as in-patients. The main goal for the patients is a largely addiction-free and self-determined life. In order to achieve this, the family or the social environment such as the village community are included in the therapy. Even after therapy is completed, patients remain closely connected to the facility and receive support. Some can even get a job in the kitchen, the laundry or as a security guard.

The future support of FORUT requires a solid concept and a stable financial foundation, which is currently being worked out.

Translated with www.DeepL.com