Improving Public Health and fostering economic growth through early disease detection, prevention and timely intervention.
“Being a good doctor goes beyond knowing all medical conditions and their respective treatments. It also embraces the ability to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the health systems and communities that we work in.”
-Dr. Niwaha Anxious Jackson Founder and President of B-LINK
The objective of good health is really twofold: the best attainable average level – goodness – and the smallest feasible differences among individuals and groups – fairness. A gain in either one of these, with no change in the other, constitutes an improvement.
-World Health Organization (WHO).
The story of B-LINK began in Uganda, in 2015. Dr. Niwaha was doing his internship training in Mulago National Referral Hospital-Kampala, the same institution he had trained from as an undergraduate medical student.
Throughout his training as a medical student and an intern doctor later, Dr. Niwaha realized that majority of the patients were presenting to hospitals with complications of very late stages of diseases that needed highly specialized curative care services which are yet to be afforded by majority of Ugandans that are still living below the poverty line. For example, people would present with end-stage kidney disease and thus in need of dialysis and kidney transplant services-to majority of Ugandans, this is “building castles in the air”. Others presented with heart failure, stroke, Blindness and only to discover that they had been living with undiagnosed high blood pressure or diabetes among other preventable diseases, which if properly managed would not have resulted into those complications and disabilities. The most devastating blow was the answer he received to his ever-constant question to his patients of “where have you been all this time?” Majority of the patients would answer “I didn’t know”. Watching some of them die when they would have been saved had they been screened earlier was not the only thing that would temporarily incapacitate him. He would also over hear myths held by majority of the people in communities of how our hospitals even Mulago national referral have become highways to death.
Dr. Niwaha agrees with James Grant that the most urgent task before us is to get medical and health knowledge to the most in need of the knowledge. He also believes that providing health information/education to all people as well as detecting diseases at their early and curable stages is integral to cushioning the citizens of Uganda from the impact of a failed health system ranked among the poorest worldwide. Born and raised in a rural impoverished community, Dr. Niwaha is a witness to the fact that the impact of a failed healthcare system is most severe on the poor. He grew up watching the poor sell off their land and livestock and further driven deeper into poverty by lack of financial protection against ill- health.