KTA just sent a team of nurses to BHTF to conduct a series of medical outreaches in the surrounding communities. This team of six nurses visited five villages in western Uganda to give medical care to these people who normally do not have access to any kind of clinic. A medical outreach, is a multi-faceted operation, so I’m going to attempt to give you an idea of how one works.
The general set-up of an outreach consists of four stations: triage, lab, pharmacy, and physician. Things begin with triage, this is where the medical team gets the patient’s medical history as well as their basic vital signs (weight, blood pressure, temperature etc.). This station usually takes the longest, because of all the questions that must be asked to get a good medical history, and often times these conversations require a translator because many people in more remote villages don’t speak any English.
After triage many people are sent to the physician. Because this team often only had nurses BHTF always brings one of the clinical officers from New Hope Medical Clinic to work with one of the visiting medical staff to get a diagnoses for a patient and either write a prescription or order a lab test. If the patient needs a blood test done, they are sent to the lab. The labs on the medical outreaches can test for malaria, HIV, blood sugar, typhoid, and syphilis. This station requires a lot of waiting, once a few drops of blood are drawn and deposited on to the testing device, there is only the waiting for the results. This team was so happy that there were only a few positive test results, and most were negative. Visiting the pharmacy is usually the last place a patient would go. Here a patient would come with their prescription slip from the physician and get it filled with anything from cough medicine to de-worming pills.
All in all, medical outreaches are usually slightly hectic and tiring events, but in the end it is all worth it when you see people who might have never received medical care being cared for and treated.