Uganda blog June 2019

The dental charity in the UK and overseas

Our first clinic was held at Butagaya Primary School, one of Soft Power Education’s projects.  It was a long drive but the 126 pupils made it worthwhile.  The team got to work immediately and this was an impressive start.  On our way back to the hotel we stopped at Jinja Main Street to do some craft shopping.  In general the children had good teeth despite the need for 63 extractions and 28 fillings.

 The next morning we had a long journey to reach Sam’s village in Panyolo.  The journey took us through sugar cane fields and we saw traditional farming with ox and ploughs.  The children were waiting for us and were very excited to see the team although some feared us and wouldn’t come close.  At lunch time the nurses went out with bubbles and won most of the children over.  We worked in a small dark classroom, which became hot as the sun came out.  The older children had better teeth than the younger ones.  This was believed to be because they had been educated in oral care and the fact the little ones didn’t have brushes before today.  

On our approach to the next clinic a group of women appeared in front of the bus and led us up to the church singing and dancing.  We had to get a video of this, it was the best reception we have ever had! We left the bus and joined in with the women.  They loved that we were taking part and the people waiting also seems to appreciate it.

I was saddened by how many street children there were all begging for food or money.  It is now illegal to give food, clothes or any help to street children in Uganda.

On our day off we went to Sipi Falls and on a coffee tour, we got soaked but loved it.

 We then moved to a mission guesthouse in Kumi 10 minutes from the prison. 

The prison holds 177 male inmates all dressed in yellow tops and shorts.  They were all very polite and left us all wondering what their crime could had been, they seemed so nice. I personally find it best not to know.

We worked in a dark smelly room which usually houses 51 men.  The men sleep on the floor with only a blanket in really cramped conditions. The men responded well to the OHI and asked lots of questions.  They all received brushes and paste.

We saw all the men requiring treatment and sent for the female inmates from another location.  Two of them came with their babies.

The next day we were in a church in Kanapa where we saw 113 patients and did 117 extractions. The people here eat bones and hard foodstuffs.  Their teeth were ground down so they were suffering from sensitivity.  OHI is a really important part of what we do. 

There was a young girl with special needs in the clinic who after receiving a glove balloon became my best friend and spent the rest of the day with me. 

At the next clinic we were swarmed with people needing our help. 

We once again had to turn people away and requested they come to the clinic tomorrow further down the road.  In the last clinic we saw 67 adults and 50 children everyone was sad that this was the last clinic; nobody wants to go home.

This team has become friends and it will be hard for everyone to say goodbye. Uganda gets under your skin.