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.

Tuesday, February 24

Let's Utsia Ingo!

It’s hard to believe that we’ve reached our last day in Uganda! In honor of our departure, we have one last quick blog update!

Last week, one of the Ugandan volunteers at the clinic, Bosco, specially requested that we come out to his school to give a menstrual health talk and sex education to the girls (mainly because his school doesn’t have any female teachers). Because Bosco had been such a huge help to us as a translator, we eagerly accepted. So last Wednesday, eight of us left the guesthouse just before 6:00am and made the two-hour trek to Bosco’s school in Bufuma. We were greeted with much anticipation given that “muzungus” don’t often hike all the way out to this particular sub-county. Instead of just giving lessons to the older girls, we managed to create age-appropriate curriculum for all of the grades. For Primary 1-5, Irene, Jenny, and Sara F. gave brief lessons on heart health and wound care. For the P6 and P7 boys, Quoc, Ben and Marsel gave a sexual health talk that focused on the importance of condom use and sexually transmitted diseases. While they worked with the boys, Stephanie and I gave the girls a similar sexual education talk and gave a lesson on menstrual health. Normally, as part of the menstrual health lesson, we have the girls make washable menstrual pads. However, Bosco’s school is quite large and the P6 and P7 classes alone had about 100 girls! We didn’t have nearly enough needles or time for them all to make their own during our talk. So instead, all of the FIMRC volunteers (yes, boys included!) worked like crazy the week before and made all the pads we needed so we could hand them out! Overall, all the lessons were well received and we were thrilled that the students had so many questions to ask!

Beautiful views on the hike to Bufuma Primary School
Photo from our two-hour hike to Bufuma 
Finally arriving at Bufuma Primary School!
The P6 and P7 girls from Bufuma Primary School received washable menstrual pads during a menstrual health education session. All the pads were hand sewn by FIMRC volunteers.  
As part of the heart health talk, students used stethoscopes to hear their own heartbeat. 
Jenny, Sara F, and Irene show off their health lesson supplies including Ester, the paper doll we used for wound care. Ester is laminated so that students can practice cleaning her cut, putting on topical antibiotics, and covering her wound with a Band-Aid. 

Photo with students from Bufuma Primary School

            In addition to our educational outreach, we continued our regular clinic work. Quoc presented another CME seminar to the staff, this time covering the management of epilepsy. Ben and I finished the school profile for the Bushika Junior Education Centre and presented the school director, Richard, with a copy. He was thrilled by the end result and said that the document would be very helpful to him in the future. We also helped Jenny do an inventory check of the entire dispensary before a new shipment of medications arrived. Once the shipment came in, we helped to log and organize all the new items. 

Marsel and Ben help clinic staff member, Irene, see pediatric patients in Station 3 Annex

Group photo with FIMRC clinic staff 

On Friday, we returned to the Bushika Junior Education Centre, where we had been holding weekly health lessons, for the last time. For most of us, we had gone there every week and established relationships with the students and staff. To show their appreciation, the entire school put on an assembly just for us! Each of the primary grades presented small songs, poems, or skits. The moment that really tugged at our heartstrings was when two boys from P3 got up to perform a skit about wound care. It was wonderful to see the students use our lessons and watch them repeat the wound care steps that we had taught them.

As a result of a national polio vaccine campaign, our small clinic was closed for the weekend and Monday. Since we had a long weekend at our disposal, we decided to end our Ugandan adventure the best way we knew how – with a safari! Please enjoy the pictures we’ve included. We have had a fantastic time and couldn’t have asked for a better send off.

Rainbow over Murchison Falls 
Group photo from our safari van

Thank you so much for following our blog! We have learned so much while working in Africa and so appreciate all the support we’ve gotten from our friends and family. We are excited to share our pictures and stories with everyone in person!

No comments:

Post a Comment