Sunday, October 29, 2006

Constructive engagement

We've been trying to come to terms with our sense of culture shock. The medical wards are crowded with sick and dying people most of whom are the victims of the HIV and Tb epidemic. The government spends 8% of a small GDP on healthcare - so there just isnt much to go around in terms of facilities, staff, medicines. There is a different work ethic and years (centuries) of war, brutality and exploitation mean that there is still an overriding survival / preservation instinct which means you take what you can, however you can, cos you don't know what tomorrow will bring.
Over the next 2 months we are going to visit as many and varied health facilities as possible. From the new year we will work with the Family Medicine Department in Kampala to revamp the curriculum at Mbarara University for training physicians to work in and run level 4 health centres. As part of that process we want to see if we can establish a Clinical Department of Family Medicine and identify someone (some people) to keep it going when we leave. We'll see.......

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