In the summer of 2010, I traveled to Uganda to witness first hand the work of the Double Cure Medical Center. The first thing you have to know about Uganda is how friendly the people are. They definitely believe in the adage; if you see someone without a smile, give them one. Throughout my stay, everyone greeted me warmly and welcomed me to their country. The second thing you must know about Uganda is how colorful a place it is. The ground is an orange/red color. The foliage is bright green. The buildings are all painted bright vibrant colors. As I approached the Double Cure Medical Centre, the brightly colored buildings let me know this is a place where wonderful things are happening. This medical clinic was built from nothing in just a few short years. Now the clinic is a hub of activity in the rural town of Mpigi.
At the clinic, the doctors and staff see patients of all ages. During the time I spent there, I saw numerous people treated for everything from the mundane to the extreme. Patients presented with routine head colds and others with malaria. There were mothers in childbirth and numerous new mothers with their babies for vaccination. There was a road accident with severe injuries. The clinic also serves as a regional HIV center for the treatment of patients with HIV/AIDS.
In addition to treating all manner of medical and surgical problems, the clinic also has dentist who treats patients from near and far. There are very few dentists in Uganda. The medical center’s dental clinic serves an area which includes several million people for just this one dentist. The medical center functions as a walk-in medical clinic, dental clinic, pharmacy and emergency room all rolled up into one. Needless to say, it is a very busy place.
What does the future hold for the Double Cure Medical Center? The clinic has plans for an operating suite which will be capable of handling complicated childbirth and major surgical procedures. There are also plans for an ultrasound and x-ray and an in-patient men’s ward.
We are grateful for our partnership with the University of Pennsylvania and our relationship with Dr. Steven Gluckman, specialist in Infectious Disease with a wealth of knowledge and experience in Sub-Sahara Africa. Dr. Gluckman has agreed to join the ECHOES Advisory Board and has volunteered his time and advice to make the Double Cure Medical Center a better place for the people of Uganda. The medical center is a great asset to the people of this rural province in Uganda and we look forward to the continuing strong partnership between Double Cure and ECHOES.