Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Uganda

I am in Uganda- we are training a site to implement a study that will look at two HIv treatment regimens in children from 6 months to 3 years old. Its been an amazing 2 days as you can imagine. I have not seen much of Uganda having been in Kampala only and since I have been teaching the whole time- but what I have seen is beautiful. The more I see of this continent the more I WANT to see. I leave in a few hours for zambia and will fly out through the countries of my baby boys birth, Ethiopia. I was not able to stay on there unfortunately but will be back.

I was able to see some of the pediatric clinics here in kampala as well as the pediatric ward - or hospital. the clinic space that is funded by the research studies is really pretty nice compared to some paces I have seen in other places- but the ward was overcrowded with antiquated tools and low staffed- everyone was so friendly and incredibly bright! But the nurses make so little they cant afford to work there and so the care is not what it should be. I saw children suffering and parents by their sides in most cases...who were also suffering because it is so hard to have a child who is sick. Anyone who has taken their child to the emergency room or has had their child hospitalized knows this. its heart wrenching when there is only so much you can do. the children were so beautiful- I can't even begin to describe them.

what I found so interesting was that while walking through the medical complex there was a place for Johns Hopkins and a new clinic being built by Baylor and an oncology clinic funded by another entity and so many many different places funded by NGOs, research institutions, educational institutions and governements...its seemed so incongruous. And the word of the day was "Sustainability" the example was a lab machine donated for Tcells and they said the funds to run it would only last 3 years and then what? these patients do not have money to sustain the machine or ability to obtain the materials to run the assays long term...an incredible lab funded by Pfizer- for 3 years - and then what...I was saying how amazing it would be to have a new pediatric ward and they were saying- yes but how will we keep it staffed without any nurses since they are so underpaid they leave the country to fill spaces in south Africa to fill the spaces by those nurses who have gone to Saudi Arabia...and then it came up how our dear president is using Ugandan Soldiers to fight our war in Iraq. It was all a bit incredulous and then you thought about the faces of the children and the mothers. Photos I cannot post here due to privacy. i will post what I can when i return to the O.S. Next stop Zambia...same 2 day training.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, Em! I hope your trip continues to be amazing. Looking forward to hearing more.

Danielle

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! A little early or late I'm guessing because I can never remember the exact date. Wishing you well, brave woman.

- Jennifer

The Anonymous said...

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the ewings said...

Em,
The girl that stayed with us from the Children of the World Choir with World Help was from Kampala. Love to hear more when you return!
-Chris E