The Rukunyu Health Center provides a weekly chronic illness clinic on Wednesdays for those with hypertension and diabetes, two very common diseases here. They do not have a building space available to them so they see patients all together on the veranda. Privacy and protected health information are not concepts practiced here.
Challenges for these patients include lack of transportation to the clinic, little money for medications and lack of nutritious food. The clinic provides health education for these patients but it is hard to implement what they are taught with the few resources they have. Nurse Ruth at the school is passionate about helping the surrounding community, knowing that what is happening in the community is reflected at the school. She is planning to offer classes at the school clinic on a regular basis that will cover personal hygiene, sanitation, nutrition etc. The hope is that this education over time can change habits and contribute to disease prevention and optimization of health. This is not going to happen overnight.
When patients are admitted to the hospital wing, their families have to provide the meals for them as well as do their laundry. It is not uncommon to see chickens wandering through the wards.
Once back at the school, we met with the Health Club to provide the First Aid information and then answer their questions about HIV/AIDS, the human reproductive cycle, snake bites, why eyes feel “hot” at times and much more.
It is wonderful to see them so inquisitive and interested in health in general, even if we had to scratch our heads a bit with some of their questions; I have to admit I did not come prepared to discuss snake bites, or hot eyes for that matter.
Tomorrow (Thursday) will be our last day at the school and then we will drive to Queen Elizabeth park for a day on the savannah to hopefully see lions and a boat ride on lake Edward to see a huge variety of birds and possibly some elephants.
We will leave Uganda late Saturday night local time and hopefully begin an uneventful trip back to our respective homes.
I find it humorous that the best Wi-Fi services has been on the road halfway between the Inspiration Center and the school. So each morning, the rest of the team has become used to me riding in the van with my laptop open, phone turned on and my personal hot-spot activated just waiting for the 3G network to pop up and then I hit the send button. If I time it just right, my post and accompanying pictures will be sent to Kim in the church office before turning off the “main road” towards the school and losing the signal. Many thanks to Kim for the great job of inserting the pictures and getting these blog entries posted on the church website. At first, I thought that writing a blog every day would be tiresome but it has been just the opposite, I’ve enjoyed sharing my time here with you through writing about it. I’m looking forward to sharing even more stories and pictures once I return; and adjust back to Pacific coast time!
I’m not sure what Internet access I’ll have after leaving Kamwenge tomorrow so this is likely my last post. I want to thank everyone for the prayers of support while I have been here. It has meant so much to me.