KIHEFO promotes local initiated solutions to fight disease, ignorance and poverty in southwestern Uganda
Yesterday, volunteer doctors from KIHEFO and Canadian organisation To The World opened a health outreach camp in Muko Village, south western Uganda. It is the fourth such camp in two weeks of intensive camps.
Like so many of the rural communities that we visit, we found a huge unmet need for health services. Hundreds of people attended and the doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists and other volunteers worked through the day to treat as many as possible.
It is a great feeling when debilitating conditions, which have sometimes been untreated for years, can be cured as a result of our doctors’ intervention. These conditions may have been getting worse and worse, and becoming increasingly complicated, when there is sometimes a relatively simple solution.
One mother brought her two and a half year old son, Bennett, to today’s health camp with an infected ear. She had noticed watery discharge from the ear, which had then crusted over the ear and right side of his face. Then, in the last few days, Bennett had started to suffer from diarrhoea and fever.
Bennett was seen by Dr Michael Silverman, a consultant specialising in infectious diseases and medical student Seth Stern. On closer examination, they found lesions on Bennett’s back, arms and stomach.
As time had gone on, Bennett’s condition had become more complicated and it was possible that he was suffering from both scabies and impetigo. These conditions both cause itchy lesions, which had then become infected.
The good news is that these conditions are easily treatable with access to the right medicine. Bennett was given two types of antibiotic to take over the following seven days. As ever, we gave out free medicine at our camp in Muko.
But the underlying cause of the problem are lice that cause the skin conditions. So Bennett will be brought into the KIHEFO clinic next week for treatment with lotion to kill the lice. His mother was also advised to wash his bed sheets in hot water.
As a result of KIHEFO and To The World’s intervention, Bennett now stands a good chance of eliminating his painful skin conditions. It is a good example of how poor access to health services means that easily treatable conditions are left to become more uncomfortable and more complicated.