Q: Why did you build a children’s hospital? Aren’t there other hospitals?
A: There are other adult hospitals in Mbarara, but children cannot be treated simply as “little adults.” Children’s bodies react differently to disease – they’re more vulnerable to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, etc. They needed a hospital with doctors and nurses who specialize in pediatric care, and equipment/supplies that are made and sized for treating children.
Q: What is malaria?
A: Malaria is a parasitic disease transmitted by mosquitoes that can be fatal. It is a preventable, treatable disease that was not being prevented or treated effectively in Mbarara, Uganda, due to lack of facilities and infrastructure, and lack of training.
Q: If malaria is easy to prevent, why hasn’t it been eradicated?
A: Programs started decades ago eradicated malaria in many parts of the world, but did not involve many regions in Africa. Since then insecticides such as DDT are no longer used due to other health concerns; malaria parasites have developed drug resistances, and getting malaria services to those in need remain a critical problem.
Q: Why does malaria affect children more than other people?
A: Young children have not yet developed their immune system fully, leaving them more vulnerable to malaria.
Q: Isn’t there a malaria vaccine?
A: No. Efforts have been underway for years to develop such a vaccine, but it does not exist at this time.
Q: Why did Holy Innocents choose Mbarara, Uganda?
A: We chose Mbarara, Uganda because it’s a part of the world with huge need and limited resources, and because we were asked to help by the local Catholic Diocese, which had decades of experience running hospitals and clinics but lacked funding to build a dedicated children’s hospital.
Q: Childhood disease is such a big problem. Why not leave it to bigger organizations, e.g. The Gates Foundation, World Health Organization, and United Nations?
A: There are a lot of large organizations making significant efforts, and we applaud them. But we have a group of committed, experienced people in the U.S., and “feet on the street” in Mbarara – doctors, nurses, clergy, and laypeople – who are able to work on this problem right now, right in Mbarara. To the children and parents of Mbarara, Uganda, it matters a great deal that we’re not leaving this problem to others.
Q: What can I do to help?
A: Lots! You can…
Q: I’m just a kid. What can I do?
A: You can tell your friends and family about this website, and ask them to help. Collect nickels and quarters or more from classmates and neighbors, and give them to an adult who can arrange to donate the funds to Holy Innocents.
Q: Isn’t the US government already doing something about malaria in Africa?
A: Yes. The President’s Malaria Initiative is a collaborative effort by the USAID, CDC, Department of State and the White House started in 2005 to bring about a 50% reduction in the incidence of malaria in 15 African nations. We applaud and support this goal.
Q: Is my donation fully tax-deductible?
A: Yes. We are certified as a tax-exempt non-profit organization under IRS 501 (c) (3) rules. Our tax ID number is 20-8458869.