Yesterday (July 13) was our last work day in Uganda. We spent the afternoon doing a medical clinic in the Sudanese slum area, in a church with a dirt floor. The Ugandans don’t like the Sudanese people who have come to Uganda for a “better” life, so the Sudanese people have to have their own slum area – separate from the regular Ugandan slum areas. It’s important not to get our slums mixed up.
A lot happened at the medical clinic as always, including taking a 15-yr-old girl and her mother to the hospital for the 15-yr-old’s heart condition. It’s cool to be able to make that happen for some people. But the real fun (and the reason for today’s blog title) came from three teenage boys who showed up. Wearing skirts, I might add.
Three boys, ages 14, 14 and 13, found out their local hospital was offering free circumcisions yesterday. Recognizing a good deal, they walked a few miles to get it done. Who can resist a bargain? (All kidding aside, many of the health problems in Uganda can be alleviated by circumcising baby boys, but they don’t often do it. OK – all kidding is back on now).
So these guys found out through painful experience that while the hospital was in fact offering the procedure, they weren’t offering anesthesia or pain medication following the procedure. (All my male readers, around the world, just screamed right there. I heard them). But there was still hope however, when the guys found out they could walk several miles, painfully, to our clinic and hopefully get free pain medication.
One of our doctors was able to provide care for infection, as well as pain medication. We hooked them up, and they were happier campers. As an added bonus, we provided taxi fare back to their neighborhood. Of course, they still had to walk a half mile or so, up a dirt path/road, to get to where they could be picked up. I’m not sure the pain meds were helping that much at that point.
We at LOBO are a full service organization. And just when we think we’ve seen the most bizzarre stuff, another need walks (stumbles) through the door. And sometimes, a few laughs too!
**Note – it should be pointed out that our team leader, Sherry, who laughed harder than anyone else, asked me to write this today.