Global Nurse Team
US-BASED Dr Elham Taeed, nurses Sarah Richards and Jamie Clawson, and nurse practitioner Nancie Cummings, met two Emirates staff volunteers on board EK723 to Entebbe, Uganda recently. But this was no pleasure trip. The medical practitioners and volunteers were flying to Fort Portal, Uganda, home of Outreach to Africa, on a mission.
The medical team was flying on Skywards Miles generously donated by Emirates’ passengers on board. When they touched down, they made a difficult eight-hour road journey to Port Portal through Entebbe and Kampala with two mini-vans packed with medical supplies and donations. The trip was tiring, but all signs of fatigue vanished when the team saw the welcoming faces of the children at the school run by Outreach to Africa, a Ugandan and US-based NGO which also runs several clinics in rural Uganda.
The children’s efforts at communication and welcoming attitude in the circumstances – no running water and electricity – caused a few damp eyes. The donated clothing, towels and life-saving supplies were well received and the medical team then set to work. The children and staff of the school were examined and treated for common tropical diseases and tested for HIV.
After several days of intense work at the school, the team shifted focus to two clinics, one in Fort Portal, and one in a rural village, on the Congolese border, both with very basic medical facilities. Several more patients including babies were treated, with due emphasis on education and up-skilling of the local medical staff. Medical books, charts, posters, equipment and medicines were donated.
The team hope to return every year. Help them do it by donating your spare change onboard and Skywards Miles online.
Kathi Winter – HIV Educator
John – OTA”s Country Director, Sarah Richards – Global Nurse Initiative
Dr Elham Taeed