Dr Ian clarke – Chariman IMG teeing off
Photo’s courtesy of: IHK (International Hospital Kampala)
I started working at the International Medical Group four and a half years ago. The conglomerate, very dynamic in its nature, was founded by Dr Ian Clarke just over 20 years ago and encompasses 5 companies; IAA Healthcare, International Hospital Kampala (IHK), International Medical Centre (IMC), IMG Pharmaceuticals (IMGP) and the International Medical Foundation (IMF). For the purpose of this article, I will focus on the Foundation.
IMF, its acronym commonly confused with International Monetary Fund, although that is where the similarities end, was started in 2004 as a response to the gap in the provision of quality healthcare to less advantaged communities. The Foundation’s main focus throughout the years has been on the provision of free HIV and TB services through its various projects. In addition to this, IMF’s other focus is on the provision of free / discounted complex treatment or surgery for individuals who are unable to afford this, through the Hope Ward Initiative. Since its inception in 2006, over 1200 individuals have benefited from treatment through the initiative. At the time of its inception, Hope Ward was a designated ward within IHK however, the number of cases handled over time did not justify maintaining a standalone ward, patients now receive treatment on the relevant ward at IHK.
Beneficiaries have included patients with complications from various ailments, victims of physical abuse, children with anomalies, victims of the LRA war in Northern Uganda and acid burn victims. For the last couple of years, the initiative has focused on newborns with birth defects, 3 babies have so far benefited from free lifesaving surgery and follow-up ICU treatment, and all 3 were referred and treated in partnership with Dr Sekabira, paediatric surgeon, Mulago National Referral Hospital. I have had the pleasure of being heavily involved in the group’s CSR activities during my time at IMG and currently chair the CSR committee. Historically, our main fundraising vehicle for the initiative has been The Hope Ward run, an annual fixture up until 2015. Last year the CSR committee agreed that a change of direction was due on the fundraising front and zeroed in on a fundraising Golf Tournament as one of the activities to raise funds for the initiative going forward. With the annual fundraising target for 2017 set at Ugx 150m, the team agreed that Ugx 50m of this would be raised from the tournament, an ambitious but attainable target we felt.
Fast forward to Friday 10thMarch 2017 and the tournament was upon us. The results of a committed and persuasive team had become very apparent as the tournament drew closer, I still chuckle and marvel at the great lengths some of my colleagues went to arm-twist partners. The team effort meant that on the day, we had an impressive 28 teams show up at the Uganda Golf Club in Kampala to enjoy a fun day of golfing and to support our cause. We opted for a shotgun start with tee off at lunchtime, if you do not have a clue what that means, worry not, you are not alone, I was forced to learn a couple of golfing terminologies but cannot say I have progressed further than that. Despite the unpredictable weather that we had experienced during the course of the week, lady luck was good to us, the afternoon remained warm and sunny. By 6:30pm, golfers were back and assembled at the Club House, they were joined by our partners including media houses. I was amazed and somewhat nervous but extremely pleased to see that we had a full house and were ready to start the final part of the day by 7pm. Among those who joined us was the adorable Shantal who had celebrated or had her 1st birthday celebrated on her behalf only a few days before. Shantal, our last initiative beneficiary had been brought by her mother who was accompanied by her father, aunt, grandmother and cousin.
We ensured that the official part of the evening was as quick and as informal as possible, well, as informal as it gets where speeches are involved. In addition to the speeches, there was of course the prize giving, birthday cake cutting for Shantal and an auction to wind up the day.
At the end of the day, we left exhausted but filled with an immense sense of satisfaction as we had not only met our target but had pulled off what we considered to have been a very successful event considering our initial misgivings and limited knowledge of golf. This of course, would not have been possible if it was not for the support of our various partners.
Our Partners were: Kampala International School of Uganda, Pacific Diagnostics, Elsmed Healthcare Solutions, Orient Bank, Coca Cola – SABCO ,Castle Lite, Monitor Publications Limited, The Eye Magazine, Vision Group, Riverside Investments, DigiPrint Solutions, Critical Care Solutions, Abacus Pharma, Laborex Uganda Limited, Norvik Enterprises, Yuria Pharm EA, Linear Consultants, True Level, QG Group Uganda, Umeme Limited, Meximed East Africa, Jets Jelico, Quality Clean Services, Tona Star, Water Engineering, Housing Finance Bank, Elsmed Healthcare Solutions, Aurobindo, Akamai Holdings Limited, Phillips / Star Pharmaceuticals, UAP Old mutual, Grant Thornton Uganda Limited, Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Consultants, Bake 4 Me Ltd, Angelo Foundation, Dr Michael Odoma and Dr Steven Tendo.
In addition to our sponsors, we wish to thank the Uganda Golf Club team for their input without which we would have been quite the clueless bunch.
To find out more about how you can partner with us for the initiative or for IMF, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com or 0312 200 400 ext 379.
We look forward to next year’s tournament.