hospital in Uganda

A Vow to Care

by Jenny, with Marlo – DTS students

Kampala, Uganda

Two weeks ago we went to a general hospital to hand out biscuits (cookies) to children who are pre- and post-surgery. I was not prepared for anything that I saw.

When we first got there, I noticed boxes of small glass vials of used medicine sitting out by the curb. I could picture how easily any person could grab them. I was even more shocked when I went inside the hospital. The children’s room was rank with the smells of urine and infection.

As we handed out the biscuits, I noticed something strange — there weren’t any doctors or nurses. I kept waiting, glancing at my watch to see if someone would be by to do the rounds. An hour had passed; still, no one.

We learned that the child must have a caretaker stay with them in the hospital to attend to all their needs. The caretaker is usually a family member who has no medical experience or understanding in how to prevent infection. All the hospital provides is the bed.

My friends and I prayed for several of the children. It hurt so much to see how severely sick and in pain they were. I couldn’t imagine how their health could do anything but get worse.

The director told us that the death rate hovered around 75%.

I couldn’t hold back my tears.

That night, I wept for the way the sick were treated, especially the children. Even writing this now stirs up so much inside me. As I prayed, I realized I have IMMENSE motivation to come back when I finish nursing school to help these children.