Patrick delivers morning homily to staff at KIDA hospital outside of Ft. Portal, Uganda…May 2014
Friday, April 12 dawns at Bwindi Community Hospital in Uganda. Hundreds of nearby residents will rely on hospital services this day…
If you happen to get sick in the middle of Africa, it’s good to be miserable within 50 meters of the finest private hospital in Uganda.
Felt some chills which were followed by a nice fever on Sunday night. I excused myself from a dinner engagement and headed to bed. Monday dawned with a warm forehead and general misery. The guest house manager summoned a doctor who, hang on to your hat, made a house call.
She took vitals, asked questions, then lowered the boom. “We need to test you for malaria.”
I had all the hallmarks: fever, lethargy, loss of appetite. I’m all for an authentic African experience but isn’t that taking it a bit too far?
Got to see the hospital workings up close and personal and was relieved when blood smear came back NEGATIVE.
So a bit of a setback as I’ve been shuffling around like an octogenarian with an appetite of a six-year-old.
But I feel better today. My head is clear. I have some video editing to do. The mosquitoes can wait.
Itâ€™s Saturday morning and business as usual. Morning devotions were held at 8 a.m. Doctors and nurses made their rounds. Administrators were on duty. This visitor sat on the balcony and watched the activities of the day unfold.
The balcony at the Bwindi Community Hospital administration building overlooks the grounds. From a strategic seat looking north, you can see the main hospital wing, an outside meeting area, and a volleyball court. A womenâ€™s nursing school, under construction, is beyond the trees in the distance.
Looking up from my ubiquitous iDevice, a real-life drama unfolds before my eyes. A woman drops to her knees. Maybe she fainted or was overcome by pain or something. She bowed her head. Then the baby cried.
In an instant, staff surrounds her with privacy screens. Nurses and others rush to support the mother and newborn. A gurney arrived. Health care at the hospital responded on the double. It was impressive to watch.
After the mother was moved inside, a second child was born–her second set of twins, I was told.
Outside in the sunlight, the comings and goings never slowed. Real life goes on.