Sunday, August 14, 2011

Strengthening a vision program.

"I can't believe it.  I didn't think you were serious.  I never thought you would come back.  I am so happy." Justine, head nurse - St. Joseph's Eye Clinic

One year ago we started planning what we could do for a vision project for Uganda.  Although we didn't have authorization for a vision project we began our planning and asked to have Dr. Hunsaker make a stop in Uganda on his way to do a vision project in the DR Congo.  Permission was granted.  He came and visited Mulago Hospital and St. Francis eye clinic to see if they would be viable partners for a Major Vision Project.
Both clinics were in need of equipment and some help so he was willing to submit a project for the coming year.  The 2011 budget did a lot us a vision project.  After a few delays we finally got our shipment of supplies and Dr. Hunsaker came to implement the project.  He brought with him his wife Diane and daughter Karen.

Mulago Hospital, Dr. Agaba  received the shipment of equipment for both clinics.  He stated that he didn't believe we were serious, just another NGO talking but not doing.  It wasn't until the shipment arrived that he realized it was really going to happen.
If all else fails read the directions.

Justine, the ophthalmic nurse at St. Francis was pretty excited when we pulled in with the equipment.  Ssimbwa helped us transport the equipment and he was very excited also as this is "his" eye clinic and is a clinic that offers care at a very reasonable rate or free if people are unable to pay.
 Justine could not believe the list of equipment being donated.

 Donated Equipment for St. Francis
Tomey A-Scan
Reicheret Keratometer, table
ECCE set (2)
Volk 78 Diopter Lens
Auto Refractor
Heine Direct Ophthalmoscope (2) with charger
PMMA IOL's.viscoelastic (100 ea.) blades: straight 30 degree angle, crescent, keratome

Dr. Angela, head ophthamologist at St. Francis, was pleased with the amount of equipment and the quality.  She didn't know she was getting two rechargeable ophthalmascopes and she was wondering if it was Christmas.  This equipment will allow her to do her work where in the past she has been hampered.

St. Francis had never had some of the equipment before and Dr. Hunsaker was able to train them on each piece and then let them practice while he helped them understand what they were seeing.

St. Francis's administrator came to the clinic to thank Dr. Hunsaker and the Church for the equipment and training.  He was very pleased with the new equipment and remarked that it was all new, not used or refurbished. He eyed the new rechargeable ophthalmic scopes with a wish that he could take it back to his office as it was much better than the one he was using and didn't need  batteries which is a reason a lot of equipment may stand ideal - no batteries available.

Equipment donated to Mulago Hospital Eye Clinic
Slit Lamp (2)
Schiotz tonometer
Haag Streit tonementer
Heine BIO indirect ophthalmoscope w/power pack and transformer
Volk 20 Diopter lens
Volk 78 Diopter lens (2)
ECCE set (2)
AAO Basic Science Set 2/ DVD
PMMA IOL's visocelastic (100 ea.), blades:  straight 30 degree angle, crescent, keratome
Auto Refractor

When we arrived at Mulago Hospital to do the training Dr. Agaba head of the department was heading out to a meeting and he seemed surprised when asked if he would be in the training.  He said he had been called to a meeting and would not be back until the afternoon.  Prof. Mwaka Amosi greeted us and opened the room for the training but seemed a little confused when we asked him if anyone was there to be trained.  He excused himself and retreated to the office.  Apparently they really didn't think Dr. Hunsaker would return to bring equipment and train and they did not plan anything.  He said if we would give him a little time he would get the doctors there to train.  We left the hospital to get some adapters for the equipment plugs and said we would return at !:00 PM to train everyone on the equipment. 

When we returned he had rounded up some doctors and stated that we could train the trainers.  Dr. Angela from St. Francis was there as she is the head Ophthalmologist for glaucoma.  There were a few other doctors and when they saw their was room the nurses came in eager to learn and have an inservice.
Everyone was elated to receive the new equipment and were eager to learn the skills.  Someone had donated a Gold Ophthalmic Laser to the clinic but never gave any inservice on the machine.  Dr. Angela asked if Dr. Hunsaker could demonstrate the machine and teach them to use. it for glaucoma.  Apparently the machine had been sitting in the store room for some time as no one dare use it till they were trained.  Dr. Hunsaker sat right down and went over the machine and then had Dr. Angela man the second viewer and together they did laser surgery on one of her patients. 

It became obvious that these physicians were in need of some practical training on any new equipment and that donating the equipment was only part of the gift, training was essential.

A happy patient and a happy Dr. Angela.  She is now ready to start using the donated Laser and she was very grateful for Dr. Hunsaker's willingness to improve her skills.

Since it was Diane's birthday we needed to celebrate so we went to dinner and show at the Ndere Cultural Center. We had a great Congolese meal and then enjoyed the Ndere Troop performance. Diane was recognized and the whole audience sang Happy Birthday. She was good at milkiing it for all it was worth. What a great birthday celebration

 Bottle dance

Native instruments
Dr. Agaba:  Only way out is to get skills and practice them often.  The equipment will allow us to practice our skills.  90% of the equipment we have is donated. Not a single lens used in our clinic has purchased, they have all been donated.  We need freedom to do things as they should be done.  We need to specialize and concentrate on specialized services.

The LDS church has come at the right time.  They came first and did a needs assessment.  They then donated NEW equipment, not used or refurbished. Then they came and trained us on the equipment. If you are going to give a gift give something of value.

Prof. Mwaka Amosi I was very excited when I saw the donated equipment, it was all new, not used and refurbished.  You are teaching us how to "fish".  We need to streamline our collaboration and have you come back and work with the University Department of Ophthalmology.
Dean of School of Medicine:  I know your church.  I see you on the streets of Kampala.  All those young men in white shirts and ties with their short hair, always clean and with those black tags like yours.  It is good.
I have a friend who is going blind out in the village because he is not getting the care he needs.  Your donation will help us improve our ability to give care.  We need to focus on Primary Care to get care to all district hospitals.  Blindness is still a problem here causing the elderly to suffer.  We need to become more independent and grow stronger.

I commend you for bringing your daughter her to teach her about service and helping others.  She will be better because of her experiences.
The nurses were so excited for all the equipment.  They will be using it along with the doctors and they realize that they can improve their care with such equipment.

Fellow nurses - always fun to meet your fellow nurses no matter where it may be.
The nurses didn't want to see us leave and kept thanking us for coming and helping their clinic.  They asked if we would like to "take refreshment" with them.  they took us to the University Canteen for a drink.  While we were visiting and learning about nursing in Uganda we gave them a gift -  a CTR ring.  They tried to guess what CTR meant and were very pleased when we told them it meant CHOOSE THE RIGHT.  They felt that fit nurses very well as nurses need to practice Christ like principles.  Did I say they were pleased, well they were thrilled to get a gift and a ring was a very personable gesture.

All the girls had to get a picture.  Interesting how we all bonded and had a hard time saying good bye.  Never say good bye in Africa just - Till we meet again.

The day wasn't over yet.  dr. Hunsaker was asked to go on television as the guest on Health Forum.  This is a call in show, last one hour and he was to field questions from the commentator and the public calling in.  He did us all proud as he answered all the questions and was able to explain a little about the church program of supporting ophthalmology in many countries around the world.

Thanks Dr. Hunsaker, Diane and Karen for a great project. 

A lot of good was done and there are a lot of happy people.  We wondered if this was going to be a good partnership and it turns out that much good will be done with all the new equipment.  Our partners are strengthened and we can't ask for much more. 


Emma Barlow said...

oh Grandparents, can't wait for your return! Oh how we miss you greatly, but know you are doing great good in Africa. :]

Unknown said...

I love reading about all the good things you guys are involved with! Love you guys!

Scarehaircare said...

Equipment certainly does no good if you don't know how to use it. I loved the responses you received back from the doctors and nurses about your inservice. But, Mom, I think my favorite picture is of you and your fellow nurses.

I know these past 18 months have been a challenge at times, but Wow! have you made a difference!

Angela said...

Loved the photo of you and the nurses.

Paul said...

In 1968, while our family lived two years in Uganda, my sister spent a month at Mulago Hospital, receiving care for encephalitis. It wonderful, all these years later, to see the Church there performing great service. I feel like in a way, through our donations to Humanitarian Aid, the care my sister received all those years ago has come full circle. Thanks for repesenting us all so well there! Paul Glauser, Draper, Utah

Unknown said...

We appreciate that you are giving eyecare facilities to the people.

There should be a regular eye check-up also besides all important precautions.

I suggest two donation based eye clinics for poor patients for checkup and surgeries, Vision Trust Eye Clinic and Mehr-un-Nisa Eye Clinic for Eye Surgeon

And please send your donations to us to help us helping more eye patients.

Best regards