Lugazi, Uganda

Partner: Global First Responder
Date: July 13 – July 20
Program Cost: $850
Provider: Family Practice, Internal Medicine, GYN, Dermatology, midwives

Medical setting: Rural village clinics and schools

Cultural experience: There is a rest day in the middle of the trip where volunteers can participate in a local activity for a nominal fee.

Estimated economy airfare:  $1,200 – $1,500

Program includes: This trip includes lodging, transportation, translators, water, and all meals within the official dates of the trip.

About Global First Responder: Global First Responder was founded by Dr. Adam Beckett in 2010 as a response to growing health disparities in rural communities.  Global First Responder is an all-volunteer organization. Volunteers pay the approximate fee of their room and board, transportation, and translators as well as a small fee for medicines and supplies. GFR fundraises separately for other projects and additional costs associated with medical/dental care. GFR’s team leaders pay their own trip fee and airfare in keeping with our all-volunteer approach. While we do not provide tourism activities during our trips, volunteers generally have 1 day off in which to enjoy local sightseeing at a nominal cost.

GFR takes a 3-pronged approach to improving health: 1) GFR provides basic medical and dental in partnership with local organizations. 2) GFR works closely with communities to determine infrastructure needs, sending a construction team to work with local community members to build small schools, clinics, and community centers. 3) GFR provides permanent water purification systems in villages in conjunction with the community who staffs and secures the systems after they are built.

About the country: Uganda is best known for safaris, natural beauty, and the source waters of the Nile. It is often called “the Pearl of Africa” but that description fails to consider health disparities and human suffering.  About 80% of the population, including children, adults, and the elderly, work in agriculture. Most people are a subsistence level, with barely enough food to their family and nothing left over to sell. Healthcare in Uganda is underfunded with many rural health centers without staff, equipment, and medicines. Most rural Ugandans don’t have the money or transportation to access health care, resulting in poor health outcomes for even the simplest problems. Malaria, tuberculosis, diarrhea, respiratory infections and STIs are common. Uganda also has a very high maternal mortality and infant mortality rate, with many births occurring at home. The #1 cause of death in Uganda is neonatal disorders.

About the medical setting: Clinics will be held in small villages within one hour of the team compound. Tents, PA system, local volunteers, security, and tables/chairs are provided by the host. We anticipate 150-200 patients per day, adjusted to the size and skill of the medical team. Patients typically do not receive care elsewhere due to transportation and cost. Local educators will be on hand to provide education specific to the needs of the villages. Day 1 is a health screening clinic for a school in addition to providing medical care for students as required. Days 2 – 5 are standard village clinics.

We will provide education for local midwives (both lay and certified) on this trip to help combat the high rates of infant and maternal mortality.