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.

Saturday, February 14

"Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls"

Hello everyone,

Thank you for keeping up with our blog posts. We are nearing the end of our time here in Uganda. Nine new volunteers from other medical schools decided to join us on our mission to help out at Project Bumwalukani. It has been the typical week at the clinic. Some of us tagged along with the clinical officers seeing patients. Besides seeing our share of skin diseases, hypertension, and viral respiratory illnesses, we had a few patients that needed special attention. Of note, a child living nearby had been seen at the clinic twice this week for an abscess near his left eye. Because the abscess was worsening, we thought the best plan was to send him to Bududa Hospital. Stephanie and Irene had the opportunity to escort him to the hospital for treatment. He was discharged a few days later and decided to pay our clinic a visit. It was great to see that he is recovering well.

            Besides working at the clinic, we received a presentation from Richard, the Health Outreach Coordinator, on Vitamin A supplementation. In the 2-hour session, we learned how to counsel parents about the benefits and the side effects of Vitamin A, as well as learned how to administer it to children. 

            We spent a lot of time at Richard’s Bushika Junior Education Centre. Last Friday, we visited the school to give the students presentations on health-related topics. Sarah and Stephanie had a discussion with a group of teenage girls about sexual health, including discussions about the birds and the bees, how to say no to sex, and family planning. We also talked to the students about nutrition, on what and what not to eat. This past Friday, our group came back to Richard’s school to educate them about heart health and first-aid basics. This involved teaching the kids how to measure their pulse, having them listen to their own heart through a stethoscope, and educating them about heart healthy foods.

            Sarah, Ben, and I were also involved with the task of creating a profile for Richard’s school. The profile would be their official document about the functions of the school. In theory, Richard is hoping to use the profile to register his school with the Ugandan government in the future, for grant applications, and for general informational purposes to sponsors and donors.

            Throughout this past week, we also went on multiple outreaches. We made home visits and performed individual home safety/health assessments, gave deworming medication, and provided vitamin A supplements. We also went on immunization outreach, providing vaccinations until very late in the day. A few of us tagged along with Musa to visit an OVC (Orphan and Vulnerable Children) patient at her home. Their home visit assessment consisted of determining her living conditions, addressing drug adherence issues, and answering the OVC’s concerns. We also held a CME session where Marsel gave a short but comprehensive topic covering the management of hypertension.

            Last weekend, we traveled to Sipi Falls for leisure. It was a nice Matatu ride through the best paved road in Uganda to reach our destination at Crow’s Nest Lodging. From there, we hiked up the steep terrain to view the first and second waterfalls. For the third and final waterfall, a few brave souls dared to go down the ‘wall of death’ to view the waterfall from the bottom. For the rest of the group, viewing the waterfall from the top was enough.
Thank you so much for reading our blog!

Drama Group performs a new act one Wednesday a month. The acts are suppose to be educational for the patients waiting at the clinic.

Ben and Richard during our Vitamin A workshop. Ben is pretending to give the balloon baby a "blue" capsule of Vitamin A. Vitamin A is administered to children starting at 6 months and is given every 6 months after until age 5. Blue capsules contain 100,000 IUs of Vitamin A and are given to children between 6-11 months. Red capsules are 200,000 IUs and are given to children between 12-60 months.

Stephanie and Irene walking with Arlington students home from school
Our amazing friends came by to the clinic to visit us after seeing patients. They are always looking for somebody to carry them.
The peds ward at Bududa Hospital
Irene educating Richard's students on nutrition

We made cut-outs of the different food commonly found in Uganda. The kids were really excited about getting the photo taken

CME on hypertension management

Immunization outreach with Kaliste

Setting up shop for immunization outreach

Sipi Falls

Sipi Falls

Paying close attention to our guide, Moses, at Sipi Falls

A picture of some our members at the bottom of the last waterfall; Sipi Falls

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