SEATTLE—Pilgrim Africa’s health clinic, Beacon Medical Center, continues to provide care that is instrumental to the community of Soroti, Uganda.

Beacon Medical Center is a private medical clinic located next to Beacon of Hope College. Classified as a Health Center II, it provides out-patient medical care for the community of Soroti and Beacon of Hope students and staff.

The healthcare system structure of Uganda is organized as a tiered, decentralized medical system and is federally funded under the Ministry of Health.

The district of Soroti houses a population of approximately 297,000 people according to the 2014 National Population and Housing Census, with 53 health facilities. Out of the health facilities, 23 are classified as Health Center IIs. For comparison, the city of Spokane has a population of about 217,000 and has over 65 health clinics of similar scale and ability.

Beacon Medical Center effectively utilizes its resources to continually provide accessible care for the community. At only 900 square feet and 7 beds, Beacon Medical Center serves nearly 1,000 people a month—most of whom are students at Beacon of Hope. On average, Beacon Medical receives and treats 30 people a day within their 10-hour work window. When the staff recognized this was not long enough to adequately care for their patients, they added an additional two hours each day—volunteering to forego any additional pay.

A typical month at the Beacon Medical Center involves treating patients for malaria, respiratory tract infections, typhoid, urinary tract infections, diarrhea, skin infections, intestinal worms, peptic ulcer disease, and more.

The most common conditions treated in September 2019 were malaria, respiratory tract infections, and peptic ulcer disease. A detailed second look at patients treated in the month of September reflects 60% were students, 30% were community members, and 10% were school staff.

The five staff running Beacon Medical Center are passionate and dedicated to serving their community and improving the health of others. This philosophy has strengthened Beacon Medical’s alliance with Beacon of Hope, and opened opportunities for past students. Sam Eibu, a former Beacon of Hope student, is now a lab technician for the clinic.

What makes Beacon Medical Center so important out of all the other health centers?

Beacon Medical Center provides care to our students at Beacon of Hope in a format that prevents them from sacrificing their education. Its close proximity to the campus and care that values prevention and health maintenance translates to more students able to spend their time learning instead of traveling for healthcare or staying home ill.

Beacon Medical Center serves and touches hundreds of patients’ lives each month, lifting them up when they are in their most vulnerable state. Beacon Medical Center is for the community, by the community.