In May, 2015, a Ministry of Care team consisting of two (2) medical doctors, one (1) nurse practitioner, four (4) registered nurses, one (1) licensed vocational nurse, a law enforcement officer, and a business executive went on a Medical Mission trip to Kampala, Uganda. The trip was planned to coincide with the conference of the “Widows International Ministry” (WIM) so the MOC team could minister to conference attendees in addition to the general populace. Activities included the triage of widows, children, and adults with health issues ranging from the common cold to HIV infection. Achievements of the mission include:
About 900 women and children, (approximately 200 patients) seen daily;
Over 1,000 reading glasses given to patients;
Over 1,000 individuals (especially children) receiving tooth brushes, toothpaste, clothes, shoes, school supplies;
Arrangements made local healthcare providers to follow up with special cases – bills paid upfront.
Even though the clinical activities were conducted on a school playground, the trip was blessed with good weather and a serene environment. MOC was also able to visit several local churches and nearby villages, to spread the good news and minister to the healthcare and existential needs of the Ugandan people.
The mission had to overcome two main challenges on the Uganda trip – the shortage of skilled translators and the Customs Agency. Translators were needed to assist with patient triage and counseling. There was a concern that some of the volunteer translators did not have a sufficient knowledge of medical terminology to adequately support the patient encounters. It was decided for future mission trips to include a period of training for the translation volunteers, to help them be better prepared for the specialized work.
The Uganda Customs Service impounded the medications brought by the MOC team upon the arrival of the team at the Entebbe International Airport. The concern was that medicinal items were being brought into the country without prior inspection or quality control. Fortunately this issues were promptly resolved and the medicinal items were released the following data. The lesson learned was to ship medicinal items in advance, to provide for their appropriate clearance and approval ahead of the scheduled clinics.
CALL FOR ACTION
Jesus once remarked …”the poor you will have always.” (John 12:8). The ministry to the poor and needy is a never ending task. Your continuous assistance is needed to alleviate the problems embodied in these suffering communities and impact their lives in a substantive way. MOC believes they can do more if they had more and asks you to make that commitment to donate to a good cause and a worthy purpose.