Sarah Richards – Global Nurse Initiative
“High-flying hope: HIV education and paediatric clinics changing lives in Uganda
From Emirates Airline Foundation:
Back in February 2010, the Emirates Airline Foundation extended its support to Outreach to Africa by providing air tickets to a team of ambitious medical volunteers from the United States on a clinical care mission to rural Uganda. Made possible through the continued generosity of Emirates passengers, the Outreach to Africa team joined forces with Global Nurse Initiative’s (GNI) School Nurse Program to deliver a follow-up mission to these impoverished villages this autumn. This time, with an even greater agenda laid out ahead of them, providing comprehensive clinical care to local children as well as educational workshops on HIV prevention.
The four HIV educational workshops were held in and around the area of Fort Portal, Geme and Rwebisengo, Uganda. Attended by nearly 500 people, these workshops focused on HIV & STD prevention, nutrition, and disease management and were conducted by Kathi Winter, an experienced HIV Educator for the American Red Cross and co-founder of Outreach to Africa.
Sara Richards, RN and Executive Director of GNI said, “We hope that through Emirates passengers’ helping us get these educators to the people, we can prevent new victims of Africa’s HIV/AIDS pandemic as well as help the people who are presently living with this terrible disease. This gift of education is a ray of hope for these patients. This hope opens minds to the possibility of a future, gives strength, and eases fear.”
The team held two paediatric clinics to help manage the care of the 90 school children at Outreach to Africa’s Paul Delvin Academy in Geme, Uganda. These focused on primary care through HIV, malnutrition, malarial and vision screenings. The children also received skin-care, de-worming, daily multi-vitamins (which will be continued every day during school), vaccinations, dental hygiene education, toothbrushes and toothpaste.
“Few things in life can be as humbling as the happiness of a child,” said Richards. “A child’s priorities are so perfect in their simplicity. It is a lesson that we as adults forget all too easily and quickly. Our team was given the opportunity to enjoy these lessons again due to the kindness and generosity of the Emirates Airline Foundation.”
Founder and President of Outreach to Africa, Evelyn Komuntale voiced her thanks for the Skywards Miles donated by Emirates passengers saying, “Partnership is the most effective solution to the economic, social and health issues affecting our society. Thank you for your partnership.”
Skywards Miles donated by Emirates passengers were used to fly a team of volunteer medical professionals to Uganda to deliver healthcare services to 90 school children at Outreach to Africa’s Paul Delvin Academy in Geme, Uganda.
In addition to providing two paediatric clinics, the volunteers also put on four educational workshops attended by nearly 500 people. The workshops focused on HIV prevention, nutrition and disease management. When the Emirates Airline Foundation recently received its largest single donation to date – US$500,000 worth of medicinesN from SkyLink Aviation – this tremendously generous donation of medicines was sent to the organisation Outreach to Africa (OTA) which operates a school and clinics deep in rural Uganda.
Now in full use at the OTA Fort Portal clinic, these medicines are proving invaluable in improving the students’ health. Volunteer doctors and nurses visit regularly, travelling from the United States and Canada thanks to donated Skywards Miles
In a recent letter of thanks, Evelyn Komuntale, President, Outreach to Africa, said “We have some of the healthiest kids in Uganda because of all the medical teams that the Emirates Airline Foundation is sponsoring. The children are so blessed. No other school in Uganda gives such medical care like we do. It is all because of what Emirates and its passengers have done. Thank you so much for the great help.”
If you are a qualified doctor or nurse, and you are interested in more information about volunteering with OTA, you can email us for more information.