Guest Blogger: Keith Linford
Bwindi Community Hospital in Buhoma, Uganda is literally at the end of the road leading to the impenetrable National Park. It has a tragic history of the expulsion of an indigenous population, the Batwa (pygmies), from their home in the jungle by gorillas who were protected by the government. Driven from their homes at gunpoint, with no assistance or compensation, this community was truly devastated.
Two years ago, The Hope Alliance was the first to provide vision care to this isolated region. There is a tremendous need for reading glasses and education for proper eye hygiene. All household cooking is done over a wood-burning stove and the fields are cleared with fire. This has led to significant eye sensitivity due to the smoke pollution. We found a large number of elderly individuals with advanced cataracts. With the help of the Kellerman Foundation and the Hope Alliance a new dental and eye building is in the planning stages. Once the building is completed the hope is to have eye surgeons come and perform cataract surgeries and train local doctors as well.
We were able to screen over 740 individuals in the five days of clinics. Four of the days were in extremely remote villages with an hour and half of travel over rough dirt roads. Over 660 pairs of glasses were dispensed, mostly reading glasses.
The people are remarkable in their closeness to nature and the basic needs of daily living. They were gracious and thankful for our efforts. It was quite humbling and I return appreciative of my family and good health.
I want the Making A Difference Foundation to know of my deep appreciation for their kind and generous support of my trip to help the people of Bwindi.
If you already have a medical mission planned, but need a little financial support, please take a look at our Financial Assistance Program. It is our mission to help ignite your passion to give back, so you may qualify for a grant from the foundation.