Stories from the Field: “Where Healthcare Doesn’t Exist” in rural Uganda
You can throw a rock from almost any street corner in America and hit a drugstore. While that may be a bit of an exaggeration, finding a CVS, Walgreens, or other pharmacy isn’t difficult. In fact, according to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, 90 percent of Americans live within five miles of a pharmacy.
But could you imagine if you didn’t live within 20 miles of a pharmacy? How about 100 miles? How about if there was no pharmacy at all within three days of your home?
This is what Dr. Harold Mayweather encountered on a medical mission trip to Jinya, Uganda. Traveling with faithful servants from the nonprofit, The Soul of My Footprint, the team spent two days in a village outside Jinya where there was no health clinic and no drugstore.
Upon arrival, they discovered a town “where healthcare does not exist,” according to Dr. Mayweather. His team of two physicians, five nurses and four pharmacy techs set to work providing a temporary medical clinic and pharmacy. For 48 hours they tended to nearly 300 infants, children, and adults with ailments ranging from mild to severe. Each was so grateful to see a doctor or nurse.
His team set-up a temporary pharmacy. Slowly villagers ventured in, collecting medicines and health supplies provided once, maybe twice a year. Imagine suffering through routine ailments with no medicine or ways to improve your condition for days or longer.
“We all brought along medical supplies, but the bulk of the supplies were from MAP International. The MAP Rx pack helped so many! It’s hard to put into words how much it did.” Dr. Harold Mayweather
Medicines are not readily available in all parts of the world. Its hard to fathom, but for many people in resource-poor communities, medications and health supplies are a luxury. Many have never heard of a pharmacy let alone understand the concept of medicines that are available 24/7.
This is the reality in rural Uganda. MAP is proud to assist medical missionaries who give their time and talent to provide what comes so easily in the U.S. and for which we should all be grateful.