This morning was spent visiting the clinic at Kimwanyi where CHI , through your generosity, are able to sponsor two nurses. We were given a grand tour of the facility and were very impressed with the facilities provided. One of the nurses, Violet, proudly told us about the various immunisation programs that are run for babies through to adults, she showed us the fridge/freezer (securely padlocked), where many of the vaccines were kept. In the maternity 'unit' we noticed the handmade incubator was still in use, and Prossy confirmed it still worked well.
The solar power, installed after our last trip, is making a huge difference to their working life.
The quote of the day had to be from Ramadan (the lab technician), when asked about how he incorporated his faith in his daily working life, he said he often told the patients this ...
"We treat you, but God heals you". How very true. He also hopes God will provide, as he is in need of a new lab testing kit for the large number of TB tests he is now required to undertake in his sparsely equipped lab.
A short wander down the hill to find the water pump was no longer in use, as the workings keep being stolen! What a shame for the community. We also checked on the eucalyptus plantation, which is doing ok but could do with some new saplings here and there.
Lunch with the new Pastor of Kimwanyi followed. He has only been there for a month so is just finding his feet. He has a wife and three children (didn't look old enough to us), his youngest is only a month old, we all had a cuddle with the baby!
Afterwards we visited some of the children from the Aunt Louise school who were still at home. Regen was sat outside sunning himself when we arrived, he was a little shy at first but soon came round to all the muzungu in his garden.
From there we visited Bruno, who has Downs Syndrome, a dear boy, whose enthusiasm for music and dance was infectious. He proudly showed us the chickens and piglets he had bought with the pocket money his sponsor has sent him. He looks after them himself with a little help from his brother's. Well done Bruno.
We then visited Pamelah, she was so obviously thrilled to see us. Her elderly guardian had dressed them both beautifully, and we were invited in to sit awhile and chat. Pamelah, although not able to speak, was very animated.
Our last call was to Sharif, and how we wish now that we could wave a magic wand and change the situation that we found. We knew Sharif had left the Aunt Louise School to come home for a while, but we were shocked to find Sharif was looking after his mother who was bedbound after having a stroke in 2021. Sharif himself cannot walk and drags himself around on his knees. They rely on the kindness of those around them to fetch water, food etc. Sharif appeared very happy, sitting on the floor, playing with bottle lids, the large machete by his side was worrying but this seems quite commonplace in Uganda! The situation is a difficult conundrum. Sharif needs the specialist care which he was receiving at ALS, his mother also needs special care. Sharif is really not able to fully look after his mother, he cannot walk and drags his body along, they’re not living they are just existing. It was heartbreaking and we are busy talking with Patrick and a health professional, Moses, to see what, if anything, we can do to alleviate this situation.
We reluctantly left them and took a long, very quiet drive home.
Overall, it was a positive day, and we were happy to get back home and have our dinner, so many thoughts swimming in our heads.