Monday, November 25, 2013


On the gorilla trek we met a doctor from England.  He was in Bwindi to visit his daughter and her husband whom were both doctors at the small Bwindi rural Hospital. They were having dinner that night at the lodge and invited our group to "tour" the hospital the next morning.   Very educational and informative experience.  It was started about 10'years ago bring health care to this very remote region. Through a lot of hard work and donations and constant improvement, they are now the number ONE rutal hospital in Uganda.  You really have to be here to experience what that means! The biggest problems are alcohol abuse rehabilitation (about. 1/3 of the adult male population!), livihood of people living with HIV/AIDS ( which has increased because of complacency, after a great decrease the last 10 years).  Most women here get "married"( this term is used lightly) at 14 yrs old.   Very common to see children with babies. 8 babies is the average.  Polygamy is alive and well and very accepted in Uganda, and it is legal.  So, of course, sex education in ALL aspects is paramount to changing things in rural Africa.  It is just recently that women here have finally embraced coming to the hospital for birth. When they get here, the hospital team takes "advantage" of the captive audience and they get the full meal deal on contraception, health, vaccinations, HIV ed. and spousal abuse information( yes, that is also a huge problem).  
I was VERY impressed with the health care teams and their ideas.  They struggle with so many cultural customs that are difficult to change.  A local "traditional healer" is brought in almost daily per requests of patients...but they make him wear a "lab coat" over his medicine man garb.  I have included his picture, as we also paid a visit to him.  The hosp has also built an traditional kitchen so families can come and cook their food for their relatives in the hosp.  They bring their own firewood and traditional food.
When talking to the PR director, she found out we were from Seattle and the land of Mr. Gates.  Could we please contact him and tell him of their efforts and ask him for assistsnce?  Well. Why not?  They said they have actually tried to do that but, have had no success, so since we live by him, and maybe know him ( hahhahha) maybe we could talk to him!  I gave them a small donation and told them I would do my best.  Long shot, but I will write a letter.

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