What are Closet Clinics?
Closet Clinics are closet-sized spaces in remote locations in Central and Eastern Uganda that open access to health care for the most vulnerable under-served women and children and create a space where anyone can bring a child to be seen by nurses.
Nurses care for people not diseases. Promotion of health and disease prevention is our primary focus.
An introductory community assessment was conducted by Global Nurse Network with Hope4Kids International and sponsored by Global Nurse Foundation, a 501 (c ) 3 non-profit organization to determine the need of nurse-led community clinics throughout Uganda. We requested regions consider on average how many children would be served, how many hours a day, and what needs they have that could be met by having access to pediatric nurses. Responses from three regions identified their most resounding needs:
- Training support in Integrated management of child Illnesses (IMCI).
- Management of tropical illnesses.
- Use of current technology to detect illnesses.
- Act as a referral for child related illnesses for easy and professional management.
Closet Clinics are equipped with:
- PPE supplies to combat COVID, local community acquired infections, and emerging threats
- Just-in-time training on indication, usage, storage, and disposal of medications
- Standard population immunizations including influenza
- Eko® stethoscope technology with electrocardiography and echocardiography capabilities
- HIPPA compliant file transfer protocol for immediate review by expert healthcare providers
- Point-of-care diagnostics e.g. glucose and RH testing
- Medical supplies for first aid and stabilization treatments for referral/transport
- Technology that connects site locations instantaneously to expert pediatric nurses and midwives regionally and globally
The Closet Clinic model can serve 7000 children who otherwise would not have access.
The program is intended to establish Whispers as the sustainable answer to continued professional development of nurses throughout Uganda, but equally intended to expand Whispers services to include telehealth support to these vulnerable populations.
BACKGROUND: The U.S. based Global Nurse Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, and Global Nurse Network provide professional development training to pediatric nurses and doctors at Whispers Magical Children’s Hospital in Jinja, Uganda. GNN made 3 in-person visits for hands-on training followed by monthly zoom planning and training meetings. GNN is fully accredited by the Ugandan Nurses and Midwives Council to provide continuing education. Global Nurse Foundation supports GNN in creating a replicable successful program that improves patient outcomes (Martin & Balwanake, 2020).
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