Thank you so much for taking time to look at our blog! We are a group of edical students who are passionate about training and in underserved areas. This January and February, we are in Peru, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica internationally as well as locally in Flint and Lansing completing volunteer service, rotating in hospitals and clinics, and learning about international medicine and local underserved health care. We appreciate any time you take to read our reflections and any donations you might offer.
Please click the “Donate” link on the side for more details on how to give directly to these communities.
Monday, January 21
Hello from Mbale
Our first week was great. Some highlights included helping out during the Maternal Child Health (MCH) group, and learning more about the ins and outs of clinic. During MCH, we each had the opportunity to work with a midwife to examine pregnant patients. We also learned that most mothers in Uganda do deliver their babies in hospitals, but they are required to bring their own birthing supplies, like a sterile dressing, a tie to cut the umbilical cord, and antibiotic ointment. We were told that moms can be sent away from the hospital if they don't already have these supplies. Sometimes, this means that they have to go all the way to Mbale, which is two hours away, just to get what they need to deliver their baby! As far as the rest of the clinic, we are all getting very comfortable with the lab tests that are run every day. We do many blood smears to look for malaria, pregnancy tests, and HIV tests.
In Mbale today, we visited a hospital called CURE, which is a private hospital that specializes in hydrocephalus and spina bifida. It was started by an American physician, and is funded by donors. They are able to do 6 operations a day, and they employ many Ugandan health care workers. At this hospital, everything is provided for the patients, including all food, linens, medical supplies, and medical care. We also saw the public hospital funded by the government. In contrast to CURE, patients here rely on their families to bring linens and food, but health care and supplies are still free. Private rooms are very hard to come by, and most patients share large rooms with 10-20 other patients.
This week, we are looking forward to working with the Post Test Club, which is a group of patients that are positive for HIV. We will mainly be talking to them about what their lives are like and what questions they have so that we can prepare an educational topic for next week. We will also be working with Community Health Educators this week, which will involve going out into the community and talking to people in their homes. We will be focusing on people that were affected by the landslides that happened a few months ago. We will be educating them about basic health needs, like using mosquito nets, and answering any questions that they have.
We look forward to updating you about these things soon!