Sunday, September 28, 2014

Day Three! Patient Screening - Rotary International VTT 2014 - Kampala, Uganda

{This is a series in posts about our trip to Uganda for the Riley/Rotary Vocational Training Team. To start at the beginning, go to this post. Check out the team blog at If you visit the team blog, please leave a comment! The team loves to hear your encouraging words!}

Good morning Kampala! This is just outside our hotel. Don't ask about the building because I don't know. Office building I think...

After a quick, but very restful, 5 hours of sleep, we had breakfast at the hotel. The food was great and the coffee was strong! I skipped the scrambled eggs though because I thought they were grits as they were white. Turns out, if you feed chickens white corn, their yolks are pale. Now you know!

The breakfast place is next to the pool but I've never seen anyone in it and there are no lounge chairs, so I think it may just be for looks. Plus, there is an electrified barb wire fence surrounding it. So, not super appealing to swim. But it is a nice setting for breakfast. 

Interestingly enough, Steph and I were stopped at breakfast by a Norwegian Rotarian who is doing some training for the World Bank. Glad we wore our Rotary shirts! 

The hotel itself is very nice and our hotel has a fantastic rainfall shower! It felt great after waking up this morning. Here are a few shots of the lobby. There was a large contingent of Japanese men there today and one in fatigues with United Nations patches. 

You can't see in these photos but there is a metal detector as you enter the hotel. But, they don't stop you even if it goes off. Or, I'll say they don't stop us. 

We loaded up the truck and van with the trunks and the first load of team members and we were off to the hospital! 

Lots of set up occurred...

This is the hallway that has the step down unit - where the kids go after ICU (door on the right), the ICU and the call room. Turning right at the end of the hall takes you to the operating room.

Sheila and Trina are preparing the ICU.

We met some of the doctors and nurses and I learned the Ugandan handshake. I also learned that everyone is a hugger here which made me feel extremely welcomed! 

Then, the combined team started screen patients by looking first at the echo (pictures/video of the heart) that had been taken before we arrived. 

The echo bed and machine...

Dr. Cordes (cardiologist AKA echo reader) and Dr. Turrentine (surgeon) getting started. 

Lots of teamwork! Since I've never been in these types of discussions, it was interesting to watch for sure. 

Amy works with Dr. Cordes at Riley and was going to visit a friend in Uganda anyway so she came to observe for part of the week. She was super helpful to have in the room so I could ask my questions from lack of medical knowledge to someone who didn't have to pay total attention to the conference. 

An observer selfie...

There were two kiddos that the team decided needed a closer look. So, we met Priscilla, an almost 4 year old. Dr. Cordes checked her out and she eventually fell asleep while on the table! 

The conference continued and another little girl needed some further review. This is Princess, a 17 month old Down's Syndrome baby. She came in and was a very sleepy girl! She woke right up though when her mama had to set her on the bed. She has already been seen by two mission trip teams and is currently on medication. I know her mother is anxious for this team to help her out. She is adorable! 

Princess and her mom. You can see the pink mat on the floor. Caretakers stay with their children in the general ward and sleep on their mats brought from home. 

After seeing all of the echos, Steph (friend and family practice doctor in Greenfield) went in to screen the kids scheduled for operation on Monday. In general, she's looking for runny noses, temperatures, coughs, teeth issues and anything else that may prevent a successful surgery. Here we met Barbra and Frederick. 

{Borrowed text from the team blog!} Barbra was sitting all alone in her ward bed, looking so excited she could burst as we walked her way! She has a huge, beautiful smile that truly lights up the room! Her English is impeccable, although her understanding of our “Hoosier” English is understandably spotty sometimes. She kept saying "Pardon?" when she didn't understand a question. So cute! She is from Rakai, southwest of Kampala near the Tanzanian border. She was found to have her heart defect at age 5 when she was easily fatigued with activities. Barbra gives all her own history gleefully! Her mother (“Mum”)and father came with her- Dorothy and John. She is the second of four children and her parents are farmers. She has a sister Brenda who is 10, another sister Bonita 6yrs old, and a baby brother Brian. 

We met Frederick too and his mother Molly. Frederick was just a little shy but posed for this picture. 

These two were something else. I thought at first they were brother and sister, but they just met in the ward. Moms were sharing food and these two were a great pair! The girl is Priscilla who we saw earlier and the boy is Ukasha who will get surgery later. 

Once everyone felt comfortable with the set-up, we headed back to the hotel for a very late lunch/early dinner and a lot of blogging. It seems nice that everyone has two days to get used to the time change before the real work begins. 

Tomorrow is a day of Building Goodwill and Better Friendships (a Rotary 4 Way Test objective - or motto if you will) with the Kampala North Rotarians. Although, after today, I can tell that this team has already done so with the doctors and nurses at UHI (Uganda Heart Institute). I am excited to watch them work together! 

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