MMM Communications, Rosemount, Booterstown, Co. Dublin, IRELAND.
Mission Development 4425 W 63rd St., Ste 100 Chicago, IL 60629-5530
MMMs are well known in the town of Masaka, 80 kms southwest of Kampala, because we have been there since 1955. A major part of our work there today is in the prevention of the spread of HIV and the care of persons with AIDS, along with orphan support and training of village health workers.
At Kitovu Hospital, 2 km outside the town of Masaka, MMM is still involved. However, the administration and staffing of the hospital has been passed over to a local diocesan Congregation of Sisters, the Daughters of Mary. Sister Maura Lynch, an MMM general surgeon, still works at Kitovu, where a new Unit provides advanced surgical techniques to repair the condition known as vesico-vaginal fistula, which many women suffer following prolonged obstructed labor.
In the town of Masaka, a vibrant inter-cultural community of Sisters provides a range of services to disadvantaged people, including children orphaned by AIDS, people suffering from substance abuse, street children and prisoners.
At Makondo, 50 km west of Masaka, a community of four MMMs runs a health centre and outreach care to surrounding villages.
It is claimed that the first cases of what has come to be known as AIDS were identified near us in Uganda. Back in the early 1980s the people called it 'Slim', as they noticed people losing weight and falling very ill. Our expertise in responding to the HIV pandemic has been honed over the years. Many specialists, journalists, and film crews have come by to look at what we are doing.
It was here that the idea developed of establishing Farm Schools to ensure essential ongoing education for boys and girls who had to drop out of school to care for parents dying of AIDS, and then take on responsibility for their younger siblings. This model of care has been taken up by the UN and applied in a number of other countries.