Wednesday, May 24, 2017

What a Terrific Problem!

Wow!  What a blessing Monday and Tuesday were in Ishaka!  We have hosted 2 medical camps in Ishaka in the past, both in Ishaka Community Church.  The church building continues to grow.  When we first came in 2014, the church was a temporary structure.  Now, there is a large building and the church is now requiring 3 worship services on Sundays.

When we arrived, similar to our previous visits, we were greeted by large lines of people that had showed up early to seek medical care.  

Because of our eye emphasis, there seemed to be more older people than most clinics that we have seen in the past.  Over the 2 days of clinic, we saw 500 patients in total.  I don’t have an accurate number from Tuesday, but on Monday, we witnessed 69 people receive Christ!  Of these 69, 3 of them were previously Muslim. 

Our team was delighted to see Crispus come into the church building.

She is a young girl with burns on her foot that we have seen and gotten treatment for on our previous trips to Ishaka.  She is growing and seems to be doing well.  She has a little bit of tightening in the burn scar on her leg, so we will be getting her another evaluation for possible burn treatment/surgery.

Through our treating of these 500 patients, we came across 7 patients that will need a higher level of care.  Three of these are children that will likely need heart surgery.  They all have murmurs and slowed growth.  Two of these are 18 months old and have received some work up in the past but have not been able to afford the surgery (they will need to go to Kampala and Mulago Hospital).

The third we have initiated the work up to diagnose his problem.  From our experience in the past, most of these heart surgeries will carry a price tag of about $1,500 USD. 

Two are patients with burns that will require burn scar treatment.  One is a 1 year old that pulled some hot porridge onto himself 4 months ago.

He has some contractures in the fingers of his R hand and down his R leg.  The other is an 18 year old who has burns to her L hand that are causing some scarring of the back of her hand that restrict her movement.  We will be arranging for their transport to a hospital that has done tremendous work with our friends Kevin and Shakib.

One of the remaining patients caught my eye because of his presenting problem and his name.  His name is Josam, which is suspiciously close to my Uncle Joe Sam.  His presenting problem is a facial swelling, for 6 months, that reminds me of our friend Joseph that we helped get treatment in 2012.

Joseph showed great improvement with chemotherapy treatment for a tumor in his face/sinuses.  He later passed away from an infection due to his decreased immune system after the chemo.  Josam will be sent for a CT scan to evaluate his facial swelling for a possible tumor.

This clinic proved to be a great clinic for teaching.  Ishaka is home to a medical school and many of their students helped us in the clinic.  In addition, Jayne, Kylee, Anna Catherine, Zach, Jared, and Jake are all planning on careers in medicine.

I was able to squeeze in some time to look at some x-rays and review some interesting patients that provided great conversation and debate.  We also got to see our friend Hilary who dropped by to help us both days.

Our new team members, Zach and Kylee, jumped in right away.  Zach helped in pharmacy and Kylee was our lab director!

After all of this, we do have a good problem.  We have 8 days of clinic scheduled prior to our eye surgeries.  The last 4 of these are eye care only.  Eye care only clinics have proven to be more productive of eye surgery patients in our experience.  But after ¼ of the clinics, we have 38 patients signed up for eye surgeries to start on June 5th!  That is a pace to have 152 eye surgery patients, even if the pace in our last 4 clinics does not increase.  So, this is a blessing and an issue at the same time.  We are not sure how many people that we can bring into the eye hospital at one time.  We may have to stagger the patients somehow or even add a week of surgeries, at a later date, that would need to be overseen by our Ugandan team, after we are back in the USA.  With each of these patients, there will be the $55 cost of taking care of their eye surgery.  Please pray with us that we will find a good resolution to this terrific problem.

Today, Wednesday, we had a day off.  There is a small mountain across the street from our hotel.  To get some exercise and training, we all walked to the top, and some of our team made the trip up 3 times.
Jill with the Rocky pose at the top.

We have clinics closer to our hotel on Thursday and Friday and a safari trip planned on Saturday.

Please continue to pray for our team and that God be glorified through all that we do.

If you would like to help financially with any of the special cases I have mentioned, please email me at and we could communicate on how to do this or you can give via paypal at

Due-ing what we Due,


1 comment:

  1. It's great to know that you are performing much needed eye surgery on those who are far less fortunate than we who live in the United States. You are truly doing God's work and we thank you for it. I was wondering what type of after care they receive after you have gone on to the next village?