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August 07, 2006

Saving Peter's Leg

Peter is an AIDS orphan living in Sibanga sub-county with his grandfather.

6 August 2006 Two weeks ago, one of the gatekeepers, John, at the CURE hospital asked me, "What are you doing here in Mbale?" I told him I was training/working at TASO Mbale, and we began discussing HIV/AIDS and how he's been affected. John lost his sister to AIDS, and she left three children behind. That was three years ago. After losing his sister and learning about other orphaned children in his village, John decided to do something. John grew up in the Sibanga sub-county near Mbale. In 2002, with two village elders, John formed the Poverty Reduction Initiative for Development (PRID) with the goal of empowering child-headed and single mother households through sustainable agriculture projects - coffee, poultry, and fish farming. Coffee trees were planted and are beginning to fruit.

John and the village elders, Boaz and Nathan - founders of PRID.

The first attempt at rearing chickens failed, as all the chicks died, supplemental feed was insufficient, and the new hatchlings were not vaccinated. The fish farming project has not been implemented. With limited resources, PRID has not reached its full potential.
John invited me to visit his village today. We travelled by bus, boda boda, and foot. We waited for PRID's co-founders and senior members to join us. Boaz is the vice-chairperson. Dathan is the secretary. Boaz cares for 5 of his late son's 10 children. Boaz and Dathan led us to the homes of some of the neediest families in the village. We trekked through gardens of beans, yams, groundnuts, bananas, and peas. It rained most of the time.

peter and grandpa.jpg
Peter and his grandfather.

We arrived at Peter's home; his grandfather cares for him and his three younger siblings. Peter is 15 years old, but looks 12. He hasn't been to school in a while. He walked with a limp. A huge, pussy, severly infected abscess on his inner left calf caused the limp.

peter's leg.jpg
The abscess on Peter's leg.

Money kept Peter from visiting the nearby clinic for treatment. He did, however, manage to buy some kind of treatment that is supposed to be injected; he applied it directly to the sore, which was making it worse. The sore had been exposed for three months. We told Peter to go to the clinic...we'd meet him there after we finished our village tour.
Tabitha, a midwife, runs the village clinic. She's a dynamic woman! She dressed Peter's wound, gave him antibiotics, and gave him strict instructions to return to the clinic everyday until the abscess heals. For the next 7 days, Peter will receive antibiotics. Tabitha also noticed that Peter's diet rarely included proteins, but that protein was essential for the proper healing of the sore. We went to the shop adjacent to the clinic to buy 30 eggs for Peter. Now, after visiting the clinic each day, he will go to the shop for an egg. We also bought him a pound of groundnuts to take home. Peter plans to return to school, now that he has proper treatment for his leg. The school is near the clinic, too! Peter was so happy.

He's in good hands...

peter and midwife tabitha.jpg
Peter and Tabitha, the community health worker.

Posted by kmf23 at August 7, 2006 10:06 PM

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Good work guys its great to know that there people out there who care. peace out

Posted by: moses at February 15, 2007 03:36 AM

Just stumbled across this Diary on the Internet! We are a UK group who support projects in Kimaluli-Butta in Sibanga Sub county - we were lst there in July this year and met a few folk from TASO Mbale and were fascinated with one of their Dramas!

We have been supporting Tabitha and her clinic since 1997 and it was great to see her on your web blog. It is good to hear of stories involving the clinic.

We will not be back in Uganda until next year but if you plan to go back let us know when and we could meet! Our web site is www.krdp.org - have a look and let us know what you think (it does ned updating!)

Gareth Morgan

Posted by: Gareth Morgan at September 24, 2006 09:52 PM

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