Day 5 in Uganda so far and each day has exceeded the previous day when it comes to experiencing the hospitality and generosity of the people here. Yesterday’s opportunity to spend time with the HAU mobile palliative care unit at a nearby community was by far one of the most touching experiences I’ve ever had.
There were 10 of us (including the hospice driver) that traveled together in a small white van from the hospice site to a nearby community where a group of about 50 or 60 patients were already waiting. Everyone was sitting on mats and mattresses set up by local volunteers earlier in the morning. What I came to realize was that these patients were not only there to see a clinician and to receive medication for their symptoms but that they go to spend the day together as a community and provide emotional support to each other.
Most of the patients (mostly women) were HIV positive, and many were also diagnosed with cancer. What saddened me most was that there was also a group of children with HIV waiting to receive the same type of care. I immediately grew to love these children. Watching the way they shared what little they had with each other, even offering to share what was likely to be their only real meal for the day to me just made me want to cry.
I can’t say enough about the strength and courage of the people of Uganda that I’ve met so far and that includes many of the hospice staff and volunteers that give so much of themselves to help the patients. Hopefully the images will better convey what I’ve been trying express in words.
Thanks for continuing to follow us on our journey!
Dispensing ibuprofen at the pharmacy station.
Food rations provided by hospice.
Children helping each other wash their hands before lunch.
Lunch being served by volunteers.
A young boy helping to clean up after the outreach.