"Day one of the clinic always tends to be the hardest. Each team member, from registration to triage, providers, therapy, pharmacy, and support staff, is figuring out their flow and working out the kinks, especially in the morning.

It was an early morning with breakfast at 6 AM, joined by some of the MKH team. Bri, the team’s spiritual leader, led a beautiful morning devotion, reminding everyone that service comes from love, emphasizing the big goal for the day.

After piling into the van, Joseph drove everyone one and a half hours to Masindi Port, the first clinic site where hundreds of villagers, young and old, were already waiting to be registered and seen.

Jumping out of the van, everyone hit the ground running. Rooms needed to be set up, patients needed to be given numbered wristbands and registered, then seen by the triage team.

The ladies in triage are the first to speak with patients face to face regarding their health complaints. Today, the team saw a total of 201 patients of various ages with diseases and conditions like malaria, high blood pressure, physical pain, and dehydration.

Elissa, one of our triage nurses, had a mother and son who she remembered stood out in her mind. The mother brought her son, stating that he was having seizures and also lived with a cognitive delay. “How scary it must be to have a child with such a condition without access to the care that he needs,” Elissa recalled. The mother did not even seek care for herself; she was only there for her son. Many Masindi Port adults were selfless today, bringing only children to be seen. Situations like that highlight the significant need for medical care and support in Uganda, a big reason why OWH teams provide these clinic outreach days.

The triage team saw their last patient around 1 pm. After administering the necessary medications and completing vitals and temperatures for the day, they went outside into the hot Ugandan sun to play with the many children accompanying their parents. Bubbles, frisbee, playing ball, red rover, and tag were some of the many activities that team members, finished with patient care, engaged the children in.

By 5:45 pm, our pharmacists had filled the last prescription. The team packed up all the supply bins, loaded them into the truck, said goodbye to our friends, and piled back into the van for the trek back to Masindi Hotel. During the ride, everyone participated in a debriefing about what worked well, problems that needed solving, and how everyone could improve. Again, the first clinic day tends to be the most challenging.

Tomorrow, everyone returns to Masindi Port, hoping to see the hundreds of patients turned away once they hit capacity. There is no doubt that everyone will work as a well-oiled machine, and 200 patients or even more can be seen."
Submitted by Kristen DeAndrade