Thursday, September 18, 2014


Guys. Hey. This is long, but there's lots of pictures.

I am officially writing this from our apartment, because we have internet, because we made 6 trips to the internet store over the span of 5 days to finally get our modem that we paid for on saturday  activated. I wasn't frustrated at all. Patience is what I felt the whole time.

That was a lie, but the important thing is that I burned down 0 Ugandan internet stores and ended up in 0 Ugandan jails, and now we have internet. Today is a good day.

All internet problems aside, the last 3 days have been really busy, and full of new illnesses and experiences and learnings. We are in full-swing.

A recap for you.

On tuesday, we spent our first day in the clinic in town with a couple of the doctors. We started the mornings with some short rounds on patients with the doctor to get an understanding of the inpatient conditions. On top of the run of the mill problems like diabetes and high blood pressure, patients here have all sorts of other things going on like malaria, and typhoid fever, neuro-syphilis, and lots and lots of HIV. It complicates things. The rest of the morning was literally like being on the show House. But in Africa. And realistic. And without adequate access to CT scans, X-rays, lab tests, MRIs, or pretty much anything else outside of each other's brains and a diagnostic manual. We would just sit in the office together with the doctor and patient, hear their symptoms, do an exam, and start going through every differential diagnosis we could think of and treat them the best we could based on their symptoms.

We spent time in their lab, where I had to reach way back to my microbiology knowledge with "gram staining" blood to isolate bacteria/malaria, using a candle as a bunsen burner. It was insane. But I learned how to find malaria in someone's blood using a microscope. So.
You could see the malaria parasites bursting out of the blood cells. Amazing.

The lab.

Wednesday we drove out to a village that KHIEFO has partnered with to build maternal and child health. About 60% of the children here are malnourished, and Uganda has one of the highest maternal and child mortality rates in the world. So we split into 2 groups and hiked all over their little mountain and went house to house surveying the mothers and every child they had under 5. We were checking for malnourishment, sickness, parasites, and the mother's health, diet, and water source if she was pregnant. It was so eye-opening. Not only do the women here AVERAGE having 6-7 children, but they work in the fields doing hard labor all day, walk miles to fetch water every day, watch the kids, make the money, and have food ready for whenever their husbands get home. The men mostly drink. It is actually really hard to watch it happen, but it is the culture here and we are trying to understand it the best we can.

The village school. They danced for us.

Where's Waldo.

Hiking to the next house

Checking height, weight, and arm circumference.

Lauren and Alana doing a survey

Shelby educating, Barnabas translating

It looked neat so I did it

And last but not least, we went to another village today that KIHEFO has adopted for HIV patients who have no way to access anti-retrovirals to keep the virus at bay. They go every single month. We drove way out to their village, did physicals on them and gave them the meds they need to stay healthy. Once again- no access to most drugs, no access to labs, and no access to imaging. We just treated with the antibiotics and pain medicine we had to the best of our ability. For example-- a lady sat down with Lauren and I and told us she was accidentally hit in the head with a metal axe a month ago, she lost consciousness, and is now having terrible headaches a month later. She had a quarter sized indentation in her forehead....

We gave her Ibuprofen. There was literally nothing else we could do.

This was one of about 15 cases today where we just realized how unbelievably blessed and fortunate we are to live in America. Medicine here is another world, and we are learning and applying so much of what we picked up over the last year and a half.

We found a pterygium in her eye.

Juliet and Ben, who helped us translate and treat the patients.

Tomorrow we are going on a 3 day safari.
Monday we work back in the general clinic.
Tuesday we meet with a Ugandan "traditional healer" (80% of Ugandans use them for medical care.)
Wednesday we will be delivering babies in the government hospital.
Thursday we will be learning ultrasounds and antenatal screenings at the new hospital.

This is the best. Thank you for your prayers. We have all been incredibly healthy and strong, and we have been like kids in a candy shop here. We love every single second of each day and opportunity.

African animal pictures on the way soon.

Love from Uganda,


1 comment:

  1. AHHH enjoy safari!!! Still remains one of the coolest things I have ever done. You will love it. Seriously.

    And glad you are learning too :)