We have been working hard to get a rather large grant from the Rotary club. Shooting a short film to show Kissito’s “mission” in Mbale hospital is part of the package. Mbale is the regional hospital, meaning it is the largest hospital within a 5 hour range. That covers a lot of districts. This place desperately needs help.
Sleeping in Saturday was something I looked forward to. I told Uthman I would go over to Mbale with him in hopes we could get the remaining footage we need to complete the film. We arrived unannounced, and I convinced sister Margarite to stop her work and give us a tour. She sat through a long interview and gave us a shockingly detailed tour of the wards. I’d been dubious before this day- as to whether or not sister Margarite liked me. Apparently someone else who tried to film there almost got arrested. Uthman and I managed to come out unscathed. We walked into several departments like we owned them, getting real footage people need to see.
The children’s ward at Mbale could be the poster child for non-existent health care in Africa. Kissito wants to expand into this ward eventually. All the usual shocking sights. Wrought iron beds with tattered, unsterile mattresses, very little medical equipment, 2 nurses for over a hundred children, multiple children sharing beds etc. Despite all this, the children don’t cry much-when crying does not illicit a coddling response, you notice quickly how many children won’t cry. It’s pretty amazing. I’ve don’t think I’ve seen one child whining here.
As we interviewed patients in the ward, i walked over to a boy’s bed. He was so badly malnourished and sick. I had never actually seen anyone this thin. I knew this had to be more than malnourishment. Note: We have not seen anyone dying of HIV like this since the 80’s in the U.S. Most children here have TB along with HIV, along with malnourishment. If they are not adequately treated with ARV’s in the first stages their cd4 count gets too low to fight off any other infections such as Malaria, TB, Fever,etc. Not knowing he was in stage 4, (full-blown AIDS), I made some calls to get him transferred into a facility that could better help him. After a few days of searching, I was lead to Renee. Her speciality is transferring the terminally ill children to better facilities. She drove in from Kampala to meet me at the children’s ward Monday. Not knowing the proper protocol on how to walk in and remove a patient without seeming offensive, we gracefully made out way to his bed. The bed was empty.
Friday-Sunday GOING TO KENYA SAFARI!!!!!!!!!! Some lighter posting on the horizon:)