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“Children should be thriving instead of just surviving”

An interview with Collins Kabachelor, new Country Representative Uganda of Child-Help, where he talks about challenges in his new job and where Child-Help can expand its impact in Uganda

Collins Kabachelor supports the Child-Help-Team as Country Representative in Uganda since June 2021. He looks back on many years of experience as a social worker and in working with disabled children. Collins Kabachelor is well connected in Uganda and knows how we can improve the living conditions of children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus in this African country.

Child-Help: What was your motivation to apply at Child-Help?

Collins KabachelorI have worked with children with disabilities for the last thirteen years and my passion for improving their quality of life has not diminished. It brings me much joy and fulfillment at a personal level to see the children thriving instead of just surviving in spite of the odds against them. I look forward to using my unique set of skills and experience to improve the wellbeing of kids with Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida through this strategic opportunity given to me by Child Help International.

Child-Help: Which main challenges in Uganda do you see for your work in the near future?

Collins KabachelorRegional imbalances in the location of multidisciplinary service provision for children with Hydrocephalus and Spina bifida may pose a challenge to achieving a holistic service.

Besides, children with Hydrocephalus or spina bifida have historically not been a priority for local or central government programs compared to other paediatric infectious disease programs. This will require a change in mindset, more advocacy and engaging the government and other parties to make them a priority.

In addition, there’s a high volume of patients compared to specialists available, hence, the impact of those unreached is unknown due to the reduced impact of the specialists’ effort. There’s a need to track the exact numbers and prevalence in the country so as to plan more efficiently.

Child-Help: Which impact would you like your work and that of Child-Help to have in Uganda over the next few years?

Collins KabachelorGiven the task at hand, I would like to see our work with Child help expand to all regions of Uganda, extending multidisciplinary services to the children that have not been reached so far, supported by self sufficient resources funded by Ugandans.

I would like to see the government of Uganda take a lead role both at local and country level in supporting the rehabilitation of children with Hydrocephalus and Spina bifida through working with the existing rehabilitation centers, schools, healthcare training institutions, and parent support groups.

I would like to create a platform for concerted efforts and efficient partnerships in Uganda; all advocating for the common cause of Children with Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida.

Thank you very much for the interview!

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