Hello bloggers and family,
So again I must apologize for the 2 weeks it has been since I last updated, life in Rugazi is busy. We are working mornings in the clinic and then in the afternoon we head out to the community to work on our project.
This last Tuesday I woke up pretty sick, along with a few of the other Canadian students, so we ran some blood tests and we all tested positive for a bacterial infection. So it has been an interesting few days hooked up to intravenous (IV) fluids, but 24 hours after starting antibiotics and I am back to my crazy self. I never imagined myself running IV fluids from the bars in my window in a village in Africa, but a new experience nonetheless. I hate that I haven’t been in the clinic for 3 days, but I have the weekend to fully recover and head back on Monday. I am so thankful and blessed by the people that surround me, both here in Uganda and those who are praying for me in Canada. All of the healthy people took turns taking care of the others and myself. We needed
to go to the pharmacy to pick up supplies and fluids, which is vastly different from Canada. In Canada we need to go to a medical facility to receive treatment and pick up drugs from a pharmacy with a prescription from a physician. However, here in Rugazi we are able to go to the pharmacy and pick up our needed supplies, pay for them and deal with our illness separate from a health facility. I am so thankful for our Ugandan counterparts, who ensure we are navigating Africa without too much difficulty. I couldn’t imagine a better group of people to call my family in Africa, these are my people and I love experiencing Africa with them!
I am now a little over a month into my three-month adventure, I haven’t experienced much homesickness but this upcoming week is one of the reasons I hesitated accepting my scholarship. It would have been my 6th
year volunteering at a Bible camp for the first week of summer break. This upcoming week is for junior high students and I am always placed with the grade 7’s as a girl’s counselor. Over the past 5 years I have seen many of these
girls grow up, seeing a glimpse of who they are for a week out of every year and this year I watched my very first group of girls graduate high school, which was pretty cool, but it also made me feel very old. My heart belongs to this camp and I would absolutely be there if I wasn’t here, but I wouldn’t change this experience for anything in the whole world. So if anyone from camp is reading this, I love you guys and will miss you very much this week, I am praying for this week of camp and I know camp will be as amazing and life changing as it has been every year!
So for our community project we are focusing on menstrual health in females aged 8-16 years (primary school grade 4-7 in one village here in Ruberizi district). We are targeting this age group, as they either haven’t started menstruation or are just starting. Our main focus is on menstrual hygiene and looking at limited resources in these communities and how to implement sustainable healthy hygiene practices, like making their own menstrual pads that can be cleaned and reused. The importance of this is
to keep young girls in schools and complete their education. We have targeted both females and males as menstrual health is not just a woman’s problem, and in educating young boys we can work to break the stigma, and minimize the shame young girls feel. My favourite part of the community placement has been working with the students in the school, the kids are so smart and full of energy and laughter and both the boys and girls were very engaged in what we were talking about.
Some of the clinic work I have been privileged to help out with has been: working in the antenatal clinic, practicing the skills of assessing for fetal heart rate, fetal lie (to ensure the baby is in an appropriate position to be delivered safely), and dating pregnancy based on abdomen size. I have also been working in the labour ward helping deliver babies, taking care of the infants once they are delivered. Unfortunately, not all babies are born completely healthy; one of the infants that was delivered was struggling to breath on his own, so we had to provide a little extra help through oxygen and breathing for him for a few
minutes. I also have gotten to work as first response/triage to a gentleman who was involved in a construction accident and was unfortunately buried beneath rubble. We worked as a team to stabilize his injuries and then had him transferred to a facility that is more equipped to manage him.
I am so appreciative of the support I receive from the staff at this clinic and the opportunity I am provided in being able to manage patients and I genuinely feel part of the healthcare team here.
Today while walking through the village, two children ran up to me and hugged me, their mother followed and told me the youngest was a child who had been on the pediatric ward who I had taken care of. Today was an amazing reminder that my passion for children and compassion for those I take care of is felt, and that nursing is the profession I am meant to be in.
Hopefully I will write more frequently in the future,
Tot: 2.477s; Tpl: 0.076s; cc: 8; qc: 50; dbt: 0.0407s; 2; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb