Dr. Mary Coleman, M.D., MPH and her team from Children’s Hospital and Research Center, Oakland recently returned from a medical mission to an AmeriCares-supported children’s hospital in Uganda. AmeriCares donates medicines and medical supplies to health care professionals providing charitable medical care to impoverished communities around the world. Dr. Coleman shared news and reflections from the field at the Holy Innocents Children’s Hospital.
Even though our team has been on many medical missions, it’s always difficult to witness children suffering knowing the only thing we can do is make do with what we have. Many young patients in Uganda have been lost despite the valiant efforts of our Ugandan doctors and nurses. Many of the children were just too sick and too small to survive. It is haunting to think that many of them would be alive right now if they had been able to receive treatment at our hospital back in the states.
Supplies are another challenge. Before we received AmeriCares donations, staff had to cut adult-sized medications into pediatric doses. It was amazing that all of the medicines we received from AmeriCares were exactly what our kids need, specifically for the weight and age range.
There is no way we could ever do this work without AmeriCares”
-Dr. Mary Coleman
But, I know we are making a difference here in Uganda, especially for one of our youngest patients – a newborn baby girl named Daphne. Her mother endured a difficult delivery and Daphne came down with a serious illness during labor – a deadly blood infection called sepsis.
Daphne suffered from seizures and had a fever of 104. Daphne’s mother, still weak from the delivery, slept on the hospital floor beside the basinet so she could be there to feed and care for her daughter. After four days of round-the-clock care, including AmeriCares medicines and IV antibiotics, Daphne went home alert, happy and strong. If we had been out of the medications, it could have been a very different outcome.