Kigezi Healthcare Foundation – Official Blog

KIHEFO promotes local initiated solutions to fight disease, ignorance and poverty in southwestern Uganda

Journey through the impenetrable forest

Today we took our health outreach camps to Ruhija Village. It is a 45km journey that took our volunteer clinicians from KIHEFO and To The World right through the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Bwindi is one of Uganda’s most beautiful national parks. It is home to Mountain Gorillas along with a stunning range of other flora and fauna. While we didn’t see any gorillas today, we were treated to some breathtaking views as we crossed into the national park and traveled around its tree-topped mountains.

Ruhija Village is right on the other side of Bwindi, near the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is extremely hard to reach, so residents have very poor access to health facilities. Even where health services do exist, they are prohibitively expensive for many people.

The result is that villages such as Ruhija have a huge unmet health need. Our camps are all about trying to fill that gap.

We saw hundreds of patients today, but there were many more that we just didn’t have time to see. The journey there was so long that we could only spend a precious few hours seeing patients. Though the triage nurses were very effective at picking out the most serious cases and making sure that they were seen by clinician.

Nonetheless, we were able to see many patients. We found that there were a particularly high number of patients with worms in Ruhija, and some had more than one variety making the diagnosis and treatment more complex. Nonetheless, it is possible for our clinicians to prescribe and hand out a course of medicine to treat the condition.

As usual, we gave out free medicine and prescription glasses for those who need them. It is the only chance that most patients will have to get medication.

Our hectic two weeks continue tomorrow with another health camp.

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