On Saturday, we visited the Kirangare medical clinic (called a dispensary), the Mpare Preaching Point, and another resident who has a cow from the Dairy Project.
The visit to the clinic was hard for me. No running water. No electricity except in the labor and delivery room. Only three doctors for six positions. Two hours by motorbike from the nearest hospital, including for women in labor who the clinic can't help. Here's the emergency room—it's just a bed and two chairs. Insufficient PPE. ("Very dangerous," the doctor said.) And no money for doctor's coats, so doctors must buy them themselves.
Improvements are underway. Building will soon begin on a dormitory for the doctors, so they will be very near the clinic if patients come at night. And with a new Village Executive Officer in place, hopefully more government funds will be allocated.
Pastor Fue and the doctor hoped Zion would help by connecting the clinic in companionship with a local hospital in Davenport. They imagined our doctors coming to stay for a time, to see and work in the clinic and to train clinic staff. And maybe the companion hospital might send equipment it no longer needed. This would be a new thing, I think, for our hospitals, but maybe it is possible.
Then, on to Mpare. As we walked, I was still thinking about the clinic. I knew generally what to expect, but to see it and to know and care about the people whose lives depended on this underfunded, understaffed, and by our standards almost primitive clinic was another thing.
Pastor Fue interrupted my ruminative and asked me, "How are you feeling?" And I admitted this was a low point. "I can see your energy is down," Pastor Fue said. "Maybe you can come back up."
“We are going to Mpare," I said, "That will lift my spirits."
"Yes," he said. "Put it behind you."
I needed to hear that, and from him.