Yesterday was a marvelous day - visiting Recheal's Clinic for the first time since it was completed. Trudy and I were just blown away by how far this dream has come from its beginning not so very long ago. Recheal was there in her uniform when we arrived, as was Elly Nakunda, who will be keeping in touch with Recheal after we leave and who has supported this project from the beginning. His home in Kabyenda is where the hospital is, that Recheal will be referring her patients to when necessary, and whose staff have committed to liaising with the Kikagate Clinic as needed. Rose, an HIV/AIDS counsellor that I first met back in 2007, is acting as "matron".
There's a wonderfully bright, new latrine out the back of the Clinic, with its own hand washing facility on the right. We brought with us the solar power that will be installed so that Recheal can have lighting, especially necessary when patients come to see her at night, and while she currently gets water for the Clinic from a nearby tap stand, she has obtained an estimate for a rain water collection system, which will be the next priority after she has finished registering the Clinic with the government. The registration itself is almost completed, with only a few items to be added before full approval can be given, things like hand washing facilities in each room, gumboots to wear when washing down the floors, a rubbish collection area, and signage to go out front of the Clinic.
The Pharmacy may look pretty sparsely stocked from a Canadian point of view, but contains most of the supplies Recheal needs for the ailments she will be dealing with. Missing were an adequate supply of first aid supplies and a cooker and saucepan (possible once the solar is installed) for sterilizing equipment. The Lab too is operational, with testing for HIV and malaria done by pin prick blood sample, and other basic lab tests being available too.
Record books have been set up for each department - antenatal, counseling, lab work, and out patient. Recheal will be reporting her stats to the Ministry each month. She's also drawn up a budget for the next 6 months, and has most categories covered. Capital costs will be impossible for her to cover to begin with, but we have every confidence that this Clinic will grow over time, and that from its very earliest beginnings, it will earn enough through lab tests and medication charges to recoup its basic costs and replenish its supplies.
And if that weren't enough, there on the front porch there is a suggestion box. Recheal has thought of absolutely everything, and we are so incredibly proud of her and so thankful that we were allowed to come along side her and help her realize this amazing dream. Recheal is HIV positive herself, but has in no way let that stop her. She wanted more than anything to care for the people in her community, as well as her own family of 5 children and the 3 orphans she's taken in and given a home to, and she's doing that. Just incredible!
In case any of you would like to contribute to the Kikagate Care Clinic, you can still do so by contacting me directly. Unfortunately we're no longer able to issue tax receipts, as oversight by ACTS is coming to an end, but I can promise you that any donation will go directly to offset this project. And to all of you who have already contributed in so many ways, this is your success too. Thank you from Recheal and thank you from me.