Today is an up early day ready for todays outreach clinic at the Bushikor Compassion International centre for children which is a "short" drive from Mbale , but short drive in Uganda does not mean quick !!! The roads are a nightmare with "potholes" that you have to navigate, that are the size of serious roadwaorks in the uk that would be fenced off in case you fell in them .. literally !
We arrived at the centre and there were the usual happy children everywhere in a mixture of uniforms and with some well maintained buldings adorned with very colourful , life message slogans and "interprative art style" pictures all designed to guide their students on the right path in life.
As we have now become accustomed to, the hard physical work of moving the entire contents of the back of the bus is done swiftly with ( mainly ) teamwork is completed quickly and the empty room with the luxury of a concrete floor is quickly turned into dental surgery that makes a lot of the "private" practices , or at least the ones weve seen look archaic which is a credit to Barbara and now Dentaid for the slow and long hard work shes done in building up the equipment to such a high level , over many years ( since 1996 ).
The clinic as usual is looking like its going to be a very busy one as once again the word has spread of the arrival of the Mzungo dental clinic and many children and adults begin to line up at the triage waiting room ( ie under a tree on benches ) and are then assessed by Joan and ably assisted by Steven as interpretor , co-ercer of children etc etc !!! My back didnt like the working position of these temporary chairs and I am missing my magnification loupes and lights that I reply on at home to help me do my job ... as you can see the illumination in these buildings isnt great and im thinking of asking the Uk based company I deal with if they would consider supplying some LED headlights for the ugandan team as they would improve things massively for them on these outreach clinics.
Barbara drew the "we cant see any more" line in the sand when approximately 150 people had gone through for treatment and the school then said " but another bus has arrived full of children" ... this is typical here once the word has gone out ... when you simply cant do anymore, more arrive ... it shows the huge need for this work to be ongoing and emphasises that its so vital for the funding to continue .....
Mark was kept very busy on the post op department and roped in some help for the dental hygiene talks ....
Late lunch was being very kindly provided by Leonard ( ugandan dentist ) at his new house but being cooked by his wife and mother ... bearing in mind his mother had had a huge across country trip to get to his house and his wife had a cesarian section 3 weeks ago , we are more than honoured to be invited to his home! Lunch was good and Leonard showed us his new home , of which he is immensely and quite rightly proud as its of brick built construction and now awaits its power and water connection , hopefully in the near future!
Back in the bus once more and off we go back to Sunrise Inn, Mbale to think about the day, get some food and rest my aching back ready for another busy clinic tomorrow at the Mt Elgon private Hospital in Mbale where Barbara and dentaid are hoping to set up a fully modern ( uk equipment standard ) dental surgery which will be manned by Leonard and provide a chargeable but low cost , high standard service to the poor population of Mbale , fantastic.The clinic day is to show the CEO of the private hospital the benefits to the hospital that having the service there can bring and especially the cudos of having a superb , uk charity backed surgery in situ ... a first in uganda.