Acoli Cultural Revival Organization 15

The Padibe Mission was first established by the Cambonni Italian Missiionarys in the 1920’s and turned over the Archdiocese of Gulu in the 1950’s as it grew and has had a diocesan priest ever since. The St. Peter and Paul Health Clinic was established in the 1960’s when the mission decided to build two new schools and had the old school buildings converted into the current Health Clinic.

Mother with her small child in the Children's ward.

Mother with her small child in the Children’s ward.

It operates very similarly to a non-profit corporation in the US. They simply try to balance expenses and income each year and take no profit. They do not turn away anyone who comes to them in need of medical help, which is very similar to most emergency rooms in US hospitals. Needless to say, without some kind of profit margin they are not able to build any excess funds which could be used for proper maintenance of the buildings, equipment, etc. The management team is made up of local volunteers from the parish and Two of the Sisters from the convent. Interestingly, most of the paid staff is paid by NGO’s and if the NGO changes its focus, the staff would be gone in a second. It is a very precarious business model, but is holding on and doing the best job they can for the people.

A father took time off from the field work to visit his sick child.

A father took time off from the field work to visit his sick child.

The first place all patients must stop is at the registration desk in front of the Clinic

The line waiting to be registered to see a nurser or "Dr."

The line waiting to be registered to see a nurser or “Dr” goes around the side of the building where there is a shade tree to stand under.

The mothers must stay on the floors of the wards next to their children and bring in water and grain to prepare food for them, bathe them and do much of what a nurse’s aid would in the US.

These two mothers are brining in the grain and water to make food for their children.

These two mothers are brining in the grain and water to make food for their children.

The eldest daughters are then responsible for the home cooking, grinding grains, and whatever else must be done.

This is where the food is prepared by the mothers for their children.

This is where the food is prepared by the mothers for their children.

During the day most of them sit outside in the shade of a couple of trees.

The mothers staying out of the hot sun and holding the children that are able to leave the bed.

The mothers staying out of the hot sun and holding the children that are able to leave the bed.

I met several fathers visiting their sick children

A father takes the time off from work to visit his sick son.

A father takes the time off from work to visit his sick son.

Even though it is the dry season and I have seen very few mosquitos, the Health Clinic is experiencing the third malaria epidemic in six months. The first was primarily children, the second adults, and now, the third one is mostly children.

xMother & chld 4

A young child with malaria and a proud mother.

I walked into one of the wards and saw Peter Otema’s wife, Mary sitting next to her 12 year old son.

Mary Otema sits with her son who is very ill with malaria.

Mary Otema sits with her son who is very ill with malaria.

He was on and IV drip and very unresponsive, but her beautiful smile of hope and joy that I remembered from several years ago was still there.

Mary's indomitable smile in spite of great worry.

Mary’s indomitable smile in spite of great worry.

Many prayers for him and all the sick children at the clinic this morning.

Mother holding her precious ill child.

Mother holding her precious ill child.

If a case is not so serious they can be cured by quinine pills.

Mother sitting with her wonderful daughter.

Mother sitting with her wonderful daughter.

But most of these children begin with an IV drip and then move on using the IV only when necessary but keeping the IV connection on the back of the hand.

Mother and child with the IV connection in back of hand.

Mother and child with the IV connection in back of hand.

Mother & Child

Mother holding her malaria stricken child.

Mother holding her malaria stricken child.

The Head Nurse checking in on one of the children.

The Head Nurse checking in on one of the children.

This young man is so serious, he has not gained consciousness to eat or move or anything for days. The family may have waited too long before brining him to the clinic

The mother sits near her son who is extremely sick with malaria.

The mother sits near her son who is extremely sick with malaria.

 

This man is called the, Dr. However he is actually clinically well trained, but does not have an MD degree.

This man is called the, Dr. However he is actually clinically well trained, but does not have an MD degree.

 

The "Dr." is examining the joints and other aspects of the very sick boy.

The “Dr.” is examining the joints and other aspects of the very sick boy.

The mothers insisted on getting their sick children outside for a photo. Nothing I said could prevent them, they really wanted their photo taken.

The mother's really insisted on a photo outside the ward.

The mother’s really insisted on a photo outside the ward.

The Health Clinic has quickly risen to the top of future projects we are discussing with Padibe Parish. MSOE, one of our local partners, is considering combining its Nursing Program students along with the appropriate Engineering students to work with us to make clinical and structural improvements to this wonderful facility that helps so many of poorest of the poor in and area where nearly everyone is poor. It will be an incredibly worthwhile project if we can make put it all together.

Mary Otema, praying for her son day and night.

Mary Otema, praying for her son day and night.

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