Ben and I were both feeling the need for a break from our routine today and St Josephs Hospital kindly allowed us to pay for fuel and take one of their vehicles and a driver whose name was Augustine to drive out to Lamor district to the township of Padibe and surrounds . Interestingly, Augustine is also the only person at St Josephs who has been trained to maintain and repair all the medical equipment so it was intersting to talk to him.
The scenery is great with high hills rising out of the green plains and very few cars on the dirt road , only children carrying jerry cans, people picking cassava, water being pumped at bores, pigs being led along the road or shepherds herding their cattle. We had a lot of laughs together, constructing all sorts of bizarre phrases in the acholi language and in the process learning a lot of new words. Ben is certainly providing the locals with a lot of laughter !
This trip was an opportunity to learn about the health needs and challenges being faced by the rural communites outside Kitgum town. Besides Dr Charles, we also had with us Dennis Nyeko who grew up in the community and was able to introduce us to some of his family. We stopped and shared a soda with them under the mango tree.
|our friend Dennis with his uncle , a retired school principal who lives in Padibe|
At a small rural health centre we met Beatrice, a clinical officer who is permanently posted to the facility and is responsible for the outpatients clinic as well as a birthing unit, vaccination centre, adult inpatient facilities and childrens ward. She and the nurses she supervises are obviously struggling and now face the added challenge of impending removal of financial supports they previously had relied on for survivial.We seriously need to look at ways that the Yotkom health project can contribute to the needs of these outlying facilities and help them continue to provide much needed medical help to the rural community of Padibe.
|the outpatients building of the padibe clinic|
|the clinical officer Beatrice outside the small laboratory|