Sunday, April 01, 2007

Jan at Hope

I’m four weeks into my time at Hope Clinic. I’m very aware of not having written about it, but am struggling to know quite what to say. It’s ‘somehow OK’.

Hope is a not-for-profit primary care clinic in a poor suburb of Kampala. Health care mapping here is hopeless and as a result there’s no government provision at all in this valley. Primary care in Uganda is different from the UK. The clinic has an outpatient area (2 rooms), laboratory, dispensary, 10 beds for inpatients and two labour rooms. There are user fees, but they nowhere near cover the cost of running the clinic.

A UK accountant who has lived here for a decade set up the clinic a few years ago, and it moved to new premises last year. The clinic has grown faster than it has been able to cope with and they asked VSO for some medical and management input.

Enter the queen of the protocol.

It’s work I can do, and I know they need. It’s a worthy cause. It’s a perfect VSO placement and it’s exactly what ‘development’ is about.

My ambivalence, I’ve decided, is pure selfishness. I loved the buzz of Ishaka, the challenge I faced every day, not having a clue what I was doing most of the time. I was learning at a phenomenal rate. It too was exactly what development should be about.

I know which I’ll choose next time…

No comments: